Pennington County celebrates dispatchers for Telecommunication Week

Local News

RAPID CITY, S.D. (KELO) — While you may not see their faces out in the community everyday, their calm voices are a vital part of emergency services.

“We’re the first link to connect the public with our responders,” said Matt Ostendorf, assistant supervisor at Pennington County 911, said.

Ostendorf said it’s important people recognize the 911 workers during this special week.

“There’s often unrecognized duties that we have as dispatchers. The common misconception is we just answer phones. When in reality, in some cases, we are listening to life come into this world and leave this world and dealing with routine calls as well,” Ostendorf said.

Captain Tony Harrison with the Pennington County Sheriff’s Office often works closely with 911 dispatch.

“They can’t run out the door and help, they can just pass the information along and try to get more resources coming so it’s a tough job. We’re grateful for it, and grateful for them,” Harrison said.

That’s why several deputies brought a treat to show their appreciation.

“It’s a special week. There’s law enforcement memorial week, everybody knows about firefighter week. They really are the backbone of all of those public safety people so we thought the least we could do was bring them a little surprise. So we got them some ice cream! We got pineapple, we got coconut, all kinds of stuff,” Harrison said.

Telecommunications Week is from April 11 to April 17.

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