The City of Chicago honors outstanding emergency personnel during national public safety Telecommunicators week, April 10-16

April 4, 2022

April is 9-1-1 Education Month culminating with Smart911 Day on Saturday, April 30

The City of Chicago's Office of Emergency Management and Communications (OEMC) is celebrating National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week, April 10-16, as part of National 9-1-1 Education Month to honor the outstanding contributions of the City's 9-1-1. The month will culminate with Smart911 Day on April 30 to encourage residents to sign-up for Smart911, a free service that provides 9-1-1 with critical information.

On Wednesday, April 13 and Thursday, April 14, OEMC will acknowledge the accomplishments and achievements within its 9-1-1 division from the past year with an awards ceremony during the roll call for each watch.

“We are proud to recognize the extraordinary dedication of OEMC staff, in particular our 9-1-1 workforce, for the challenging jobs they carry out every day to protect Chicagoans,” said OEMC Executive Director Rich Guidice. “No matter what the role or circumstance, all of our OEMC essential workers contribute to the critical task of keeping first responders and residents of Chicago safe."

OEMC Employee Awards and Special Recognition
During National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week, OEMC will celebrate newly graduated 9-1-1 call takers and dispatchers as well as recognize those who have gone above and beyond in carrying out their duties as call takers and dispatchers with awards.

Commendations, Awards of Merit and Team Performance and Other Award Highlights
Multiple OEMC 9-1-1 call takers and dispatchers will be receiving individual and team awards of commendation, merit and honorable mentions for their professionalism and life-saving actions. Examples include the following:

• A call taker who saved the life of a suicidal resident.
• A call taker who utilized technology to pinpoint an unknown location
• A call taker who utilized texting to communicate with a caller having a seizure.
• Multiple dispatchers who were nominated by the Chicago Police Department for their skilled professionalism over the radio during major citywide incidents and large-scale events.
• Multiple call takers who provided life-saving instructions, including bleeding control, labor and delivery, and CPR.
• Teams of call takers and dispatchers who worked together to assist on scene first responders from the Chicago Police Department and Chicago Fire Department. Examples of such incidents include:
o An emergency involving a caller with multiple wounds and under threat by the offender who was not sure of their location and needed medical treatment. The police and fire call takers working on the call were able to save the caller’s life by keeping them calm, providing first aid instruction, using cell phone technology to pinpoint the unknown location and gathering critical information on the offender for first responders.
o A burning building that quickly escalated to a May Day, Still and Box fire that involved 7 trapped firefighters. 9-1-1 all takers and dispatchers worked together to assist firefighters on scene and to dispatch ambulances and police units. The joint effort led to the rescue of the seven firefighters, who were not critically injured.

Chicago’s 9-1-1 Center is the home of several national and statewide award-winning call takers, dispatchers, and training personnel. OEMC is proud of the commitment and contribution of Chicago's Operations personnel for their work on behalf of the residents and visitors to Chicago.

Smart 911 Day on April 30 Honors Call Takers and Dispatchers
Chicago’s 9-1-1 personnel play a critical role in our community, helping those in need during what are often their most stressful moments. To cap off 9-1-1 Education Month on Smart911 Day, Saturday, April 30, OEMC will honor our unsung public safety heroes by urging residents to create a Smart911 profile. The free and secure service allows individuals and families to sign up online or with the Smart911 app. By filling out a safety profile for you and your household, residents can provide critical information to 9-1-1 call takers and dispatchers during an emergency. Smart911 safety profiles can include pertinent information that can help first responders provide a more personalized response, such as:

• Emergency contact information
• Medical history, including medications, medical equipment, and medical conditions
• Property layouts, access points and utility information
• Number of people and pets on the property
• A new feature gives residents the ability to opt-in to share their home surveillance camera footage with the Chicago Police Department in the event that a crime occurs at their residence or neighborhood. Opting-in to this feature does not authorize anyone access to your home cameras without your awareness, you will always be contacted for permission to access your cameras and can choose to decline.

All Smart911 profiles are private. Your profile will only appear to the call taker for the duration of a 9-1-1 call. To join the Smart911 community to protect the ones you love, residents can create a free safety profile by visiting or by downloading the Smart911 App.

9-1-1 Education Month – Tips for calling 9-1-1
OEMC wants to remind residents to be aware of their surroundings and to report suspicious activity. If you notice something suspicious call 9-1-1. If You See Something, Say Something™ is a national anti-terrorism public awareness campaign that emphasizes the importance of reporting suspicious activity to law enforcement authorities. When calling 9-1-1 you should always remember the 5 Ws:
What’s happening or what type of service do you need?
Where is your location? Be as specific as possible and provide an exact address, intersection or provide a landmark.
Who are the offenders, can you provide a description? Are you the victim or someone else?
When did the event occur or is it happening now?
Weapons – are there weapons involved and what is it? A gun, knife, bat, brick, etc.

For additional information, visit our website at Follow the Chicago Office of Emergency Management and Communications on Facebook, Twitter (@ChicagoOEMC) and Instagram (chicago_oemc_911) using the hashtags #ChicagoOEMC #Smart911 #Chicago911 #BeSafeChicago.

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