Kingston Fire & Rescue commends ‘lifesaving work’ of its Communications Division

Photo via KFR.

During National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week, April 14 to 20, 2024, Kingston Fire & Rescue (KFR) is recognizing and celebrating the efforts of its Communications Division.

Communications technicians are the first line of defence in a crisis, KRF stated in a media release distributed by the City of Kingston’s communications team.

“They field and dispatch emergency calls and play a vital role in providing support and managing the transfer of information during a time of need. Their duties are wide-ranging and include monitoring emergency apparatus coverage for the city, coordinating responses and mutual aid, even pinpointing a response area if the caller is unable to provide it,” KRF detailed.

According to the release, technicians also answer administrative and non-emergency calls for the fire department and document daily fire drills and testing so that resources are not dispatched where they aren’t needed.

“Despite the critical nature of their role, the contributions of communications technicians often go unnoticed or unrecognized for the work they do to keep us safe,” said KFR Fire Chief Monique Belair.

“They operate behind the scenes, away from the spotlight, and their efforts and actions are frequently overlooked and not included as part of the service we provide as emergency first responders on the front lines. However, the reality is that the work of our Communications Centre is essential to the overall success of emergency response operations and plays a pivotal role in safeguarding our community and enhancing public safety.”

In addition to Kingston, the Communications Centre dispatches for all of Frontenac County and Lennox and Addington County – nine fire departments in total, containing dense urban, suburban, rural and remote areas, KFR explained. They dispatch to incidents on approximately 75 kilometres of Highway 401, and across three different municipalities as well as providing support for the many waterways, islands, and nature areas in the region the local fire department detailed.

According to the release, in 2023, the KFR Communications Centre dispatched a total of 8,496 emergency incidents across those nine fire departments.

“As KFR’s first Communications Supervisor, I have the distinct honour of working with this amazing team of dedicated professionals,” said Kimberly Smith.

“I see firsthand the sacrifices they make to be here 24/7. This group of individuals is always here, even in the worst conditions, to answer the phone when you need them. They are the faceless first line of defence on someone’s worst day. We are present at every call. I am proud and humbled to be a part of this team.”

According to KFR, statistics show that globally there are more than 100,000 public safety telecommunicators working in emergency communications centres, providing lifesaving work to more than 240 million callers every year.

One thought on “Kingston Fire & Rescue commends ‘lifesaving work’ of its Communications Division

  • Very nice. Look forward to seeing our Ambulance Dispatchers being publicly recognized for their work too. Unlike the TV depicted version of 911, we have separate dispatch organizations in Kingston.

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