CCE/9-1-1 Central Dispatch


Charlevoix-Cheboygan-Emmet Central Dispatch Authority/9-1-1

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April is the month to recognize 9-1-1 Dispatch Centers, Dispatchers

CCE/9-1-1 Director Bob Bradley (right) points out technology operations at the terminal of dispatcher Vaughn Noble. Learning about the importance of 9-1-1 in their community are Central Elementary School third-graders (from left) Drew Piehl, Lois Hutchinson and Evan Piehl (next to Bradley), and Petoskey Middle School sixth-grader Estelle Hutchinson.

Their commitment to emergency services is the backbone of local operations

(April 2015) April is an important month for recognizing the work that goes on behind-the-scenes in our communities when it comes to emergency response. The month of April is nationally recognized as 9-1-1 Education Month, and the second week of April is designated as "National Public Safety Telecommunicator Week,” which gives a nod of gratitude to all of those who work in telecommunications and their vital contributions to public safety.

In 2014, the Charlevoix, Cheboygan & Emmet (CCE) 9-1-1 handled 143,935 calls that came into the dispatch center and more than 129,761 incidents.

“Our dispatchers are the heart of the Charlevoix, Cheboygan & Emmet County 9-1-1 Authority,” said Bob Bradley, CCE Director. “Every day they are ready to assist in the case of any type of emergency – whether they’re helping deliver a baby whose mom couldn’t make it to a hospital or helping a child stay calm in a home emergency. They lead people through performing CPR on a person in crisis and they guide lost folks out of the woods and back to safety. They truly are the backbone of emergency services in Emmet, Charlevoix and Cheboygan Counties.”

In 1991, the United States Congress designated the second week in April, this year April 12-18, as National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week.  In Michigan, the State 9-1-1 Committee is privileged to honor the men and women who serve in this role to protect the citizens of our Great Lakes State.

“This week we are stopping to say thank you,” said Harriet Miller-Brown, State 9-1-1 Administrator. “It is an honor to celebrate these exemplary individuals who demonstrate the highest levels of professional conduct and extraordinary performance.  Their dedication and hard work touches the lives of countless people daily.”

As April is 9-1-1 Education Month, it’s important to note that in Emmet, Charlevoix and Cheboygan Counties and throughout Michigan, the state’s 9-1-1 centers serve as the consistent point for dispatching police, fire, and EMS response.

“The job of a 9-1-1 Dispatcher can be extremely stressful at times. They balance the immediate request for emergency assistance from the public with getting the appropriate Emergency Responders en route to the incident as quickly and efficiently as possible, and that is just the beginning of the call,” said Greg Clark, CCE Assistant Director. “Every day in the Dispatch Center is different. The on-duty team can be handling routine calls, assisting officers with information on complaints, paramedics on transfer calls and then ‘The Call’ -- it may be a bad accident somewhere in our tri-county region, for example -  that comes into the Dispatch Center and suddenly everything changes and they go from Zero to 60, right now. Welcome to the world of a 9-1-1 Emergency Dispatcher.”

In addition to answering emergency calls, telecommunicators also provide medical pre-arrival instruction; activate weather alerts, towing services, hospitals, road commissions, and public works departments; handle call-outs for specialized response teams such as search and rescue, activating medical examiners, and hazmat response teams. Telecommunicators receive calls through many various 9-1-1 dialing systems including wireless, traditional telephones, Voice Over the Internet (VoIP), and in some counties via texts.

“As 9-1-1 dispatchers, we come to work every day hoping to make someone’s day a little less stressful and a little bit brighter,” said local CCE dispatcher and team leader Kim Matelski.

Bradley, the local Director, said since CCE was formed as a tri-county 9-1-1 Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP) by Charlevoix County, Cheboygan County, and Emmet County, it has been a model for what municipalities can accomplish when they work together.

“CCE was the first tri-county PSAP in the State of Michigan offering services to the citizens of the region and working with over 50 different public safety and other agencies to provide assistance to callers,” Bradley noted. “CCE continues that move to the future with updates to our equipment and staff training in order to be ready for the coming age of Next Gen 9-1-1. As the telephone networks that first allowed 9-1-1 to become a reality across the country back in the 1960s change, we will be able to take advantage of those changes to allow the public to contact us through different means such as texting, sending a photo or video, and ‘smart clothing’ that can detect a patient’s condition such a heart attack and contact us, and even more. We are preparing today for those changes of tomorrow.”

As part of the local awareness raising activities, a new program has been launched through Lite 96.3 FM – the Teddy Bear Patrol. CCE Central Dispatch and Blarney Castle EZ Mart have partnered to make sure that every child in distress gets a “bear hug” with new teddy bears that will be distributed in emergencies involving children.

“When first responders in Charlevoix, Emmet and Cheboygan counties respond, any child involved will get a fuzzy bear to help comfort them during a traumatic or frightening situation,” said Mary Albertson, CCE Office Manager in Petoskey.

Bradley offered a final reminder to those in Northern Michigan: Call 9-1-1 for any emergency.

Quick Facts about 9-1-1 in Michigan:

  • There are 147 primary dispatch centers in Michigan.
  • The Charlevoix, Cheboygan & Emmet (CCE) 9-1-1 handled 143,935 calls in 2014 that came into the dispatch center and more than 129,761 incidents.
  • 6,334,188 calls to 9-1-1 were answered in Michigan in 2014 (excludes data not reported from Allegan and Kalamazoo Counties, the Wayne County Service Districts of Detroit, and the Conference of Eastern Wayne).
  • Three Counties (Lake, Lapeer, and Oakland) currently accept Text-to-9-1-1 calls; many other counties are working towards accepting Text-to-9-1-1.