WASHINGTON COUNTY, Va. -

     Each year, the second full week of April is dedicated to the men and women who serve as public safety telecommunicators. This year, National Public Safety Telecommunicator Week is recognized from April 13-19, 2014.

     They are the folks at 9-11 and dispatchers with rescue and law enforcement agencies that deserve our thanks. Quite literally, a 9-11 operator is the first first-responder you'll talk to in case of emergency. It's an extremely important service they provide, but often get very little thanks for their service.

     Jason Martin, a 9-11 operator in Washington County, Virginia says, "It’s few and far between, but every once in a while you will have a letter show up in the sheriff’s office thanking us. They may not know you by name, they’ll say ‘The dispatcher I talked to on such-and-such a date really helped me out.’"

     So if you get the chance, take the time to say thank you to those who provide an extremely valuable public service.