April 12, 2024

Emergency Communications & Citizen Services: The First of the First Responders

Recognizing the City of Virginia Beach’s first line of response during National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week.

911 Call taker working on computer

As part of National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week, April 14-20, the City of Virginia Beach is recognizing the often unsung heroes of public safety — emergency dispatchers. Virginia Beach’s dedicated telecommunicators assist residents whether that involves dispatching first responders to an accident or helping to connect them with services. Dispatchers are an integral part of the City’s first responders. 

“Our employees in the Emergency Communications & Citizen Services Department remain ready to assist callers who find themselves in dangerous and difficult situations with both care and compassion,” said ECCS Director Jada Lee. “They staff the Call Center 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, working overnight, through bad weather and holidays, to ensure the safety of the people of Virginia Beach. We’re beyond grateful for their dedicated service.”

Last year, Virginia Beach emergency dispatchers fielded more than 419,295 calls for service. They also issued 118 emergency notifications via the City’s reverse 9-1-1 system and VBAlert (text and email). 

To help aid dispatchers, residents are encouraged to create a Smart911 Profile and register for VBAlert

Smart911 allows you to share critical data with emergency responders, so they know in advance about special circumstances such as household members living with conditions like developmental disabilities, medical conditions and mental health challenges. 

With a registered profile, the VB911 Call Center can provide vital medical information to first responders — like confirming for firefighters how many people may be in a burning home. 

VBAlerts are the City’s official emergency alert notification system. An alert might include things like severe weather watches and warnings, evacuation announcements, boil water advisories or major traffic disruptions. 

Learn more about Smart911 and VBAlert at virginiabeach.gov/ReadyVB.

For more information about careers in Emergency Communications & Citizen Services, visit virginiabeach.gov/ECCScareers.

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Emergency Communications and Citizen Services

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