Todays Editorial Sept 22: Tell a 911 dispatcher thank you

Imagine driving down Frank Sound Road at 4am, trying to get an early start on your day at work, and the car you’re driving slams into a cow that got out of a nearby pasture and is standing in the middle of the road.

You couldn’t see the animal because you were in a dark stretch of the road where there is no street lighting and the cow was dark.

You swerve dangerously out of control and end up sideways in the ditch.

You’re OK; the airbag deployed.

But your car is wrecked and if the cow isn’t dead, she’s seriously injured and poses an additional road hazard for other drivers.

Your cell phone is in reach and you manage to get enough sense of mind to make a call.

Whose number do you dial?

Your spouse? They’re probably still asleep in bed and by the time they get to you, another accident could have occurred.

No. You call 911 and pray that the operator isn’t fielding a prank, silly or senseless call.

The 911 operator will be able to help calm you down, determine where you are, the seriousness of the emergency and dispatch the appropriate agencies, such as police, fire department or Emergency Medical Technicians.

All of these agencies work in tandem to help in cases of emergency in the Cayman Islands.

But the help starts when 911 is called.

For 10 years the 911 Emergency Communications Centre has been offering help and peace of mind to the residents and visitors of the Cayman Islands.

They deal with the public when it’s at its worst – in emergencies.

More often than not they have to employ skills to calm callers or to put up with people, who because of the emotion involved in the issue, are rude or highly agitated.

Being a 911 operator takes a special calibre of person; one who can employ compassion, common sense and be able to easily employ the training they’ve been taught to bring an emergency under control.

They are life savers.

If you see one of the 911 staff members today, tell him or her thank you for 10 years of reliable, dedicated service to the Cayman Islands.

We thank them for all they do and commend the agencies they work with to keep us all safe.

Happy 10th anniversary 911.

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