Did You Know…Dispatchers are First Responders, too?


In the realm of emergencies, there’s a group of heroes often overlooked—the emergency communications specialists (ECS). On March 15, 2024, a pivotal moment occurred in Colorado when Governor Polis signed House Bill 24-1016 into law, formally recognizing an ECS as a first responder. This acknowledgment sheds light on the crucial role these individuals play in saving lives and ensuring the safety of communities.

Laura Robinson, lead ECS at Jeffcom911, beautifully encapsulates their responsibility, stating, “We are actually the ones providing the lifesaving help.” Indeed, as the first point of contact during crises, ECSs are the calm voices guiding panicked callers through emergencies. 

Established in April 2018, Jeffcom911 is a beacon of emergency dispatch services, catering to 30 fire, law, and EMS agencies across Jefferson and Clear Creek Counties. With a dedicated team of 118 ECSs and 18 supervisors, they serve a population of approximately 600,000, navigating diverse landscapes from urban to rural mountain terrains.

In 2023 alone, Jeffcom911 fielded an astonishing 534,416 incoming calls, with 251,051 being 911 calls. Their expertise extends beyond mere call-taking—they’re trained to provide emergency medical and fire instructions, even assisting in delivering babies and offering CPR guidance.

Yet, their role doesn’t end with the call. ECSs serve as the vital link between emergency services and the community, providing support and guidance to responders on the ground. Often, they’re the last voice heard by callers in distress, underscoring the weight of their responsibility.

Operating round-the-clock, 365 days a year, ECSs exemplifies unwavering dedication. They are the first, first responders—the Thin Gold Line, bridging the gap between chaos and order.

Recognizing the toll of their work, Jeffcom911 has implemented a robust Sponsor and Peer Support Program. Partnering with Mindbase, a Peer Support Wellness App, they ensure that each staff member receives the necessary support and resources tailored to their needs, acknowledging the importance of self-care amidst the demands of their profession.

To gain insight into the life of an ECS and stay connected with Jeffcom911, follow them on social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn. Additionally, for convenient access to emergency services, download the Jeffcom911 App on any smart device.

Let’s salute the unsung heroes of emergencies—the ECS—who, with their unwavering commitment and compassion, continue to be the lifeline of our communities.