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OVPD celebrating National Public Safety Telecommunicators week for the ‘first’ first responders

TUCSON - The Oro Valley Police Department will be celebrating National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week starting Sunday.

This week-long annual celebration, sponsored by the Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials International (APCO), honors the thousands of men and women who respond to emergency calls, dispatch emergency professionals and equipment, and render life-saving assistance to the world’s citizens.

The OVPD Communications Bureau is staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week all year round.

The bureau is operated by 13 full-time public safety telecommunicators, or PSTs.

PSTs are considered to be the “first” first responders.

Last year, OVPD's PSTs handled over 54,600 telephone transactions and dispatched police services 17,972 times, according to the department.

OVPD said the Communications Bureau's dedication to serve the public is "especially evident now in the current situation with COVID-19."

The department also said that celebrating National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week will be different this year with the coronavirus pandemic.

However, OVPD said be sure to "thank this group of individuals, from a distance of course, during this important week as they play a vital role in ensuring the safety of the public and public safety providers."

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Carla Litto

Digital content producer for KVOA News 4 Tucson. Carla previously interned at the NBC affiliate. She is currently a senior at UArizona majoring in journalism.

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