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Sheriff’s Office Tips Hat to Dedicated County Dispatchers

Professional monitors provided lifesaving links during Jan. 9 debris flow

County dispatchers answered 264,896 calls in 2017, an average of 726 per day. Click to view larger
County dispatchers answered 264,896 calls in 2017, an average of 726 per day. (Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office)

During National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week, the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office recognizes and thanks the professional and compassionate team of public safety dispatchers at the Santa Barbara County Public Safety Dispatch Center.

These dedicated professionals work around the clock to ensure community members get the help and resources they need as quickly as possible.

They are a lifeline not only to the community members who are calling for help, but also to first responders who rely on them for accurate and detailed information.

Most people will only have the need to call 911 once in their lifetime, but it may be the most important call they ever make.

Santa Barbara County's dispatchers are the calm voice on the other end of the line who provide lifesaving advice and instruction to callers in times of crisis.

They are the first and most critical contact our citizens have with emergency services. They provide a vital link for our Sheriff’s Deputies, firefighters, EMTs, paramedics, custody deputies, and probation officers.

Dispatchers monitor their activities by radio and provide them with necessary information in a timely manner to ensure their safety and the safety of all community members.

“Throughout the year our dispatchers have a hand in almost everything our local safety personnel have done for the people we serve," said Santa Barbara County Sheriff Bill Brown.

"Though unseen and often unsung, our public safety professions could not exist without them," he said.

"On Jan. 9, our dispatchers handled thousands of calls for help during one of the worst natural disasters in California history.  They did so with grace and professionalism," he said.

"They represented themselves, this agency and the law enforcement profession in an extraordinary manner.” 

The Santa Barbara County Public Safety Dispatch Center has 31 dispatchers including supervisors.

In 2017, Santa Barbara County dispatched 153,847 law enforcement calls for service, 22,131 fire incidents and 54,144 AMR medical incidents for an average of 630 calls each day.

Dispatchers answered 264,896 telephone calls in 2017 for an average of 726 per day.

Additionally, four county dispatchers received life-saving awards from the Emergency Medical Services Agency for CPR saves and three for assisting with delivering a baby.

These recognized dispatchers had direct involvement in the chain of survival for cardiac arrest patients and childbirth.

The process of becoming a dispatcher is challenging. Dispatchers undergo a rigorous testing and background process followed by months of intense training and then a period of on-the-job training before they work independently.

Those interested in serving the community in this way can visit to learn about applying to become a dispatcher.

— Kelly Hoover for Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office.


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