Supporting the #unsungheroes of International Control Room week

North Wales Police are supporting a week-long campaign which recognises and raises awareness of officers and staff who work in emergency service control rooms across the world.

Control Room Week banner

Running from Monday 19th until Sunday 25th October, International Control Room Week aims to celebrate the teams who use their knowledge, skills and expertise to quickly mobilise the appropriate resources required whilst also providing a reassuring voice to those in greatest need.

This year’s campaign highlights the importance of mental health support and awareness. For every mention of #UnsungHeroes across social media channels, the event organisers, APD Communications will donate £1 to the Mind Charity as well as to the Scottish Association for Mental Health (SAMH).

The Joint Communications Centre is a shared facility with the North Wales Fire and Rescue Service and is based in St Asaph. It is the beating heart of both emergency services with all call takers and dispatchers being the first point of contact for many who are in distress.

Temporary Superintendent Paul Joyce of North Wales Police said: “Our committed Control Room staff are the unsung heroes, working together to play a critical role in the safety and wellbeing of communities across north Wales.

“Our teams are the first point of contact for many people who are in need of our help, are vulnerable or maybe victims of crime. It’s down to the skills of the police communication operators to manage the initial call, to reassure the caller and obtain the facts and information needed to direct the correct response to the incident.

“We are fully supportive of International Control Room week which gives us the opportunity to recognise and publicly thank our teams who do an amazing job supporting our communities. Having mental health awareness is important for everyone and all efforts to highlight this are welcomed and I’m delighted to see this support from the campaign organisers.

“An emergency service control room is a unique place to work. It never stops and is constantly challenging and it takes a special kind of person to work in it. Someone resilient and empathetic, who can think on their feet and take control of what can be very distressing and challenging situations. They often deal with situations and incidents of which the majority of people will never encounter, and do so with great dignity. I am extremely proud of them.”

From dealing with missing people, people in mental health crisis threatening suicide, reports of violent and serious assaults, fatal road traffic collisions and at times, being on the end of undeserved verbal abuse – there is no ‘normal day’ in the control room, so throughout the week social media will be used to highlight some of our staff who work from the centre.

Event organisers, APD Communications said: “We have chosen Mind and the Scottish Association for Mental Health, as the charities to support throughout International Control Room Week as we know that health and wellbeing within the control room is often impacted due to the traumatic and challenging nature of the job.

“By raising money for mental health charities, we can indirectly help both the people working within the control rooms, and also the people contacting the emergency services.”

Further details regarding the campaign are available via https://www.internationalcontrolroomweek.com/