To the Editor:
As we deal with the current times of COVID–19 and a traditional spring snowstorm with those ever–present gusts of wind, have you ever wondered who is on the other end of that 911 conversation? Who answers that call? Day and night!
Amongst the plentiful assortment of local heroes, whether law enforcement, fire, nurses, doctors, corrections officers and today those faithful grocery store personnel, lies the individual who is constantly placed amongst that same group, but with the subtext of “unsung hero.” The silent one. Ironically, the opposite is exactly what we hope for when we dial 911.
There are a few local dispatch agencies here in Hancock County, such as Ellsworth and on MDI, but there is none better, particularly on a statewide scale, than those people you entrust at the Hancock County RCC. Sure, I might be a bit biased; however, I’m quite confident that all agencies are appreciated by the citizens. Led by Director Robert Conary, a former dispatcher himself for many years, this team is certified, spot–on and always available through any trial and tribulation. The calm demeanor to collect necessary emergency information is a skill that few can initiate, learn and most of all be able to psychologically handle. With extensive training, each dispatcher in the Hancock 911 PSAP is the consummate certified professional.
Along with the existing virus protocols, one of those storms mentioned above came upon us the other day. During the 24–hour period of the snow’s intensity, our dispatchers handled over 346 incoming calls on the 911 and business lines; over 300 outgoing calls to other agencies such CMP, Emera and local emergency agencies and over 160 CAD calls, which is the official event recording system. Compared to a normal day, this is three times the amount of activity for our PSAP. Please don’t neglect the fact that these are calls under an emergency situation.
I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that currently the Hancock County 911 Center is undergoing a major renovation project, under delay due to COVID–19, which puts our great employees in a situation of working under temporary quarters. Simply put, it takes an astonishing level of commitment to get the job done right for the citizens they serve.
This week is National Telecommunications Week, honoring these “unsung” heroes who sit outside the limelight, but are the ones protecting, informing and coordinating our emergency services personnel. On behalf of the Hancock County Commissioners, employees, citizens and myself, I wanted to publicly thank them for a job well done.
Scott A. Adkins
Hancock County Administrator