Meet the important people behind every phone call, investigation, every emergency, every traffic stop, and much more. They are at the heart of first responders and the hub for everything they do and in turn the very first person one speaks with when they call in for assistance… Emergency Communication Specialists. Osage County Sheriff’s Office Communications provides services to almost 99 percent of the population and first responders in Osage County.
So who are these people that man four different computer systems a piece, handle emergency phone calls and handle numerous radio frequencies at the same time. They are a special group of people that work odd hours, always show up for work regardless of weather conditions, they are commonly referred to as Dispatchers. Working a position that requires someone there 24 hours – 7 days a week, 365 days of the year.
They are the voice coordinating services for EMS, and around 50 fire departments in Osage County, along with documenting and relaying critical information to deputies, troopers, fire, and medical personnel.
This group is headed by their Communications Supervisor Tiffany Bradley. Tiffany provides the core training and management. Further, Tiffany in coordination with the Sheriff Eddie Virden have worked to provide integral systems and assistance that have made large improvements to first responders and the residents of Osage County.
OCSO Communications is staffed by a total of 14 communications specialists. Trained in a variety of computer applications, processes, and procedures to facilitate their work; but also in hostage negotiations, suicide and crisis management to name a few. This crew handles it all, from coordination of critical information for surrounding county agencies into Law Enforcement communication networks like that of the National Crime Information Center, but also weather, traffic situations, and alerts of all types .
In the year 2019 OCSO Communications handled approximately 15594 911 phone calls and approximately 8000 phone calls per month that are not 911 related. This is not the only communications they handle, they are the center for information recording and gathering for many surrounding law enforcement personnel.
Knowing the importance, work load, and the numerous systems and responsibility involved in the position; Sheriff Eddie Virden directed upgrades that improved system integration, ergonomics, while eliminating old equipment, and reducing communication cost. Larger screens and system integration removed older contracts for services that were once in place and created a more seamless environment for the communications to conduct their every day work. Vastly improving up time, and while reducing stress and fatigue for those in communications positions.
It is said communication is key, but in this environment the OCSO Communications department is the foundation!