Telecommunicators at Kentucky State Police Post 9 in Pikeville will be recognized along with more than 200,000 of their fellow communicators nationwide April 12-18 during National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week.

These silent heroes behind the headsets are more than just a voice on the other end of the line, according to a statement from KSP Post 9. They often save lives on a daily basis.

“Post 9 telecommunicators are an essential part of the daily operations at Post. They are the unseen heroes behind the scenes,” the statement said. “This week is an opportunity to give recognition to these individuals who keep KSP moving forward and our first responders safe.”

KSP telecommunicators handle dispatch duties for Kentucky State Troopers, Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Officers, Kentucky Dept. of Fish and Wildlife Conservation Officers and other emergency service agencies. Their duties include calling wrecker services, notifying channels of administration, running license plate and driver’s license numbers, running criminal histories and notifying family members while continuing to answer new calls and handling other radio traffic. Most important, they are that calming voice on the other line when someone calls 911 and is most likely having the worst day of their life.

KSP employs 180 telecommunicators at 16 posts throughout the state. In 2019, they answered 2.1 million calls resulting in 500,236 requests for assistance. Post 9 employs 17 telecommunicators who handle calls from a 5 county area. Last year they responded to 51,026 calls.

Post 9 Telecommunicators include: Melanie Taulbee (Virgie), Craig Tackett (Virgie), Felicia Coleman (Pikeville), Brian White (Harold), Christy Runyon (Brushy), Bobbie Thompson (Raccoon), Bruce Lucas (Dorton), Heather Ratliff (Paintsville), Jennifer Justice (Johns Creek), Eric Smith (Pikeville), Suzanne Whicker (Martin), Scott Hall (Grethel), Justin Johnson (Melvin), Emily Yoder (Pikeville), Rhonda Stratton (Stanville), Guillermo Bustos (Raccoon), Kelie Childers (Belfry).

During National Telecommunicator’s Appreciation Week, KSP plans to highlight work of all dispatchers across the state by sharing stories of their great efforts, photos, and videos about their efforts on the KSP Facebook, Instagram and Twitter platforms, the statement said.

For more information or to apply for a telecommunication position with KSP, log on to the state personnel website at www.personnel.ky.gov Kentucky State Police (KSP) is a law enforcement agency that prides itself on attracting the best individuals. KSP affords equal employment opportunity to all individuals, regardless of race, creed, color, religion, gender or age.

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