Thank you to those always on the other end of the phone in emergencies

To the editor: Each year, the second week in April is designated as National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week.

This is a time to celebrate the work of the women and men that make up our public safety answering points, which provide vital 911 services to all communities. These 911 dispatchers are the critical link to emergency services. They are at the ready 24/7 to answer your calls in time of need, when you accidentally dial 911, when a child is playing with the phone or, sometimes, just to be a caring ear to listen.

These well-trained professionals are truly the first responder to every call; they make sure that whatever help that you need is provided. They chose this profession because they care about people, and they and their families sacrifice with work schedules that require working weekends and holidays to make sure that someone will always be there to answer your call in times of need.

Each one of these dispatchers bring their unique personalities and perspectives to these jobs and they take great pride in the work that they do. So during this week of recognition, please take time to learn about what 911 dispatchers really do, you will be amazed at how well-trained they are and how much they really care about the communities that they serve.

I have the privilege to work with these wonderful professionals every day and I am so proud of all that they do to ensure that no call goes unanswered. They are my 911 heroes and I am so thankful for them.

Lt. Col. Thomas E. Grady, Pittsfield

The writer serves in the Berkshire County Sheriff’s Office.