LIHU‘E — The Kaua‘i Police Department is recognizing its dispatchers this week, National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week.
The yearly event occurs the second week in April, and is an effort to express gratitude toward telecommunicators within the public safety sector who dedicate their work to serving the community.
In a small, outdoor ceremony on Monday at KPD headquarters in Lihu‘e, KPD emergency services personnel were honored for their efforts.
They were joined by KPD commanders and officers, as well as special guest speakers, including Mayor Derek Kawakami; Carrice Caspillo Gardner, representing Gov. David Y. Ige; Kaua‘i Fire Department Chief Steven Goble; County Councilmember Felicia Cowden; Police Commissioner Leina‘ala Jardin; KPD Chief Todd G. Raybuck. KPD Chaplain Jade Wai‘ale‘ale-Battad offered an invocation.
“Today we are here to celebrate and recognize each of you, as well as honor and respect the work you do every day as our island’s first first responders,” said Raybuck.
“Without you, calls from those in need would go unanswered, and the dispatches to our police, paramedics and firefighters would go unsent,” said Raybuck.
”On behalf of every person who has called during a time of need, and all first responders around the island, mahalo nui for the work you do to help save lives, provide a calm voice in chaotic times, and make our community a better place to live. It is our privilege to honor and recognize each of you today.”
KPD’s communication center is staffed by 19 full-time emergency services personnel: Ginger Bray, Nellie Bunao, Deborah Carvalho, Christina Chong Tim, Alyssa Cozby, Deanna Edwards, Tiana Enos, Amber Fernandez, Alyssa-Deshae Kaneakua, Sarah Louxz, Johanna Malama-Gomes Dumapit, Kristin Minei, Stephanie Neher, Alohilani Perreira, Kathy Ragragola, Ashley Rapozo, Souci Sayegusa, Donn Taniguchi and Lavina Taovao.
They provide communication services for police, fire and medical first responders. The center is staffed 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, and is responsible for receiving and dispatching both 911 emergency and non-emergency calls.
“Like other first responders, they miss holidays, birthdays, family and school functions, yet they never hesitate to jump into action when called upon,” said KPD Sgt. Stacy Perreira who oversees the communication center.
“Our dedicated dispatchers are the voices that assure rapid response by police, fire and medical personnel in the midst of all emergencies, and are often overlooked in the critical role that they play in coordinating first response and lifesaving efforts,” said Perreira.
”They are the lifeline that ensures the continued protection of our citizens and frontline responders. They are the calming voice in the midst of chaos and the faceless voice on the other end of calls to 911, and we are proud of their daily sacrifices to serve the Kaua‘i community, both kama‘aina and visitors alike,” she said.
KPD’s Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP), more commonly referred to as dispatch, received around 129,000 calls last year, of which about 60,000 generated calls for service.
Source: The Garden Island