Published on April 01, 2022
Two pranksters broke into our police station and stole all the toilets in our bathrooms. A city spokesman told reporters that “the police have nothing to do.” April 1st is April Fool’s Day and this was my poor attempt at an April Fool’s joke. Please forgive me.
From April 10 to 16, we will be celebrating National Public Safety Carriers Week. We are fortunate to have one of the best dispatch centers in the country. As many of you know, we are expanding our dispatch services for the City of Coconut Creek beginning in October of this year.
Shipping is extremely difficult work. Over the years I have come to understand the emotional impact that work can have on our employees. Nothing underscored this point more than the tragedy at MSD more than four years ago. That is why I support the effort to upgrade our public safety carriers to first responders. Florida’s SB 1224 attempted to do just that. Sadly, Bill died in community on April 30, 2021.
During National Public Safety Carriers Week, we will remember the difficult times with respect. We will also celebrate victories that prove our dispatchers are truly “first responders”. On May 22, 2021, telecom operator Emilie Atchison received a 911 call from a desperate mother who informed her that her son was on the floor and unresponsive. “What should I do?” the mother pleaded. Emilie told the mother about a full set of CPR chest compressions, calmly counting each pump. It was a stressful call, but Emilie remained calm. It was all the more impressive since at the time, Emilie was a dispatch trainee. Emilie was overjoyed when the mother relayed “He’s up – he’s breathing!” Emilie saved a life that day. You can listen to the audio here:
911 Coral Springs dispatcher helps save lives – YouTube
These types of calls happen more often than most people realize. On September 9, 2021, Telecommunications Supervisor Melissa Ayres received the award for Public Safety 9-1-1 Telecommuter of the Year from the Emergency Medical Services Section of the Florida Department of Health. Melissa received a 911 call from a 14-year-old girl in Parkland informing her that her mother was not breathing. Melissa made a call and then instructed the girl on how to perform CPR. As Melissa was teaching the young girl how to do chest compressions, the mother began to breathe on it. His life was saved by what we like to call “our first responders”. So during National Public Safety Carriers Week and every day, I will celebrate our dispatchers and thank them for all they do. I hope that one day soon, our elected officials will give them the “first responder” designation that they so deserve.
I recently attended the unveiling of the “Spirit of Caring” artwork that was erected in the roundabout at the main entrance to Broward Health Coral Springs Hospital. Jared Smith, general manager of Broward Health Coral Springs, organized the well-attended event. The statue was erected to honor the seventeen precious lives taken, the survivors, the community and all those affected by the MSD tragedy. As I listened to the speakers and watched the unveiling, the emotions of that day washed over me. My thoughts traveled to what happened that horrible day. And as always, my thoughts are with the families. My heart is with them. I marvel at their strength and their desire to make schools safer and our world a better place. I thank Jared Smith and everyone at Broward Health Coral Springs for all they did on the day of the tragedy and all they continue to do for our community. This work of art has been well done. I continue to pray for all the families who have lost a loved one and for all those who are working hard to overcome the events of this day. I admire your strength and hope you find peace and comfort.
Please stay connected to our department via Facebook, Twitter (@CoralSpringsPolice) and NextDoor.com to learn about crime trends, road closures and other information affecting our community. If you haven’t already, please contact me on Facebook @ChiefParry.