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Voices behind first responders honoured

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This week marks National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week.

National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week happens annually during the second week of April to honour 911 dispatchers.

Marc Picard is the manager of the Central Ambulance communication centre and says there is more to the job than just answering the phone.

“We’re frequently providing CPR over the phone, and providing instructions to people,” he explained. “We’re the calm, cool voice that leads them through their crisis which is often CPR. We’ve had a couple of our staff deliver babies over the phone, and then your general first aid.”

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He adds there is 30 staff who work at the communication centre that cover a lot of ground.

“We do just over 36,000 calls a year,” Picard said. “We have an area that spans Temiskaming district, which is just north of Kirkland Lake, all of the Nipissing district, and most of Parry Sound district, and we do 20 volunteer fire departments in that area.”

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