National Telecommunicators Week: the real people behind 911 calls

Published: Apr. 13, 2022 at 4:53 PM AKDT
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - For National Telecommunicators Week, the Alaska State Troopers are acknowledging our local 911 dispatchers, who assist in saving so many lives every day.

In 1994, President Bill Clinton signed Presidential Proclamation 6667 to designate the second week of April as National Telecommunicators week.

911 can be a scary number to have to call, but it helps in knowing there are calm and caring voices on the other end of the line.

Dispatchers are available 365 days a year, 24 hours of the day - and on average, dispatchers take 125,000 calls over 911 every year.

One in particular, Martie Orem, is a southern-born 911 dispatcher here in Fairbanks. She has been with the state troopers since 2019, and continues to feel fulfilled in her job every day.

Orem explained that it takes a compassionate and calming person who can also multi-task to get the job done.

Orem says, “I love to help people. I want to make a difference, and I feel like when people have their darkest days and they call me, I’m able to send them help. It honestly makes me feel like I’m actually contributing back to my community because I feel like I’m helping them.”

Orem also shared that some of the state troopers washed the cars of the dispatchers Wednesday to say a special “thank you” to them for all their hard work.

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