Right in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, first responders have been paying tribute to members of their team who are the ultimate in being behind the scenes.

This week is Telecommunicators Week, honouring the dispatchers who answer frantic calls from people in crisis.

Those dispatchers who work out of Timmins Police headquarters answer for fire, paramedics and police – except OPP – right across Cochrane District.

Police spokesman Marc Depatie says they transfer vital information to whichever branch they’re deploying.

“What’s not realized is that the people behind the scenes – the person who takes the information, who coordinates how the response should take place in terms of deploying the appropriate emergency services – well that lies on the shoulders of the dispatcher,” he notes.

Dispatchers are also trained in things like coaching someone to perform CPR before responders arrive, and participating by phone in more joyful events.

”We did deliver a baby back a couple of years ago.  One of our dispatchers quarterbacked that with raw efficiency.”