An international campaign which shines a light on critical control room staff is returning for a second year, with organisers urging emergency services organisations to make it even bigger and better.
Running from 21-27 October, International Control Room Week will bang the drum to celebrate and raise awareness of the vital role played by control room teams dealing with traumatic and distressing situations on a daily basis.
Last year’s trailblazing campaign saw over 200 control rooms and more than 10,000 personnel from police, ambulance, fire and coastguard services across the UK get involved, as well as control rooms from as far afield as the United States, Australia and India.
The week-long campaign is organised by tech company APD Communications, which supplies critical, life-saving software to emergency services organisations across the UK and supports critical control operations internationally.
Rhiannon Beeson, APD’s Commercial Director, said: “Last year’s campaign was absolutely tremendous, and we were overwhelmed with the support for control room employees across the UK and elsewhere around the world.
“The campaign is all about thanking these incredible unsung heroes, who are often the first point of contact in really challenging situations and showing them how much we appreciate their vital role in keeping people safe and secure.
“This year we want International Control Room Week to be even bigger and better, so we’re urging more emergency services and critical control organisations to sign up and get involved.”
As part of last year’s campaign, APD donated £5,000 – split between mental health charities Mind and Scotland’s Association for Mental Health – and the pledge to raise money for mental health charities will be repeated as part of this year’s initiative.
Rhiannon added: “Working in an emergency services control room is a high-pressure and stressful environment so this year we’ll be focusing even more on promoting positive mental health and wellbeing in the control room.
“APD will be donating to two great mental health charities each time the #unsungheroes hashtag is used during International Control Room Week.
“We want this campaign to really inspire and encourage control room employees everywhere and show them how much their work is appreciated.”
After seeing dozens of photographs shared on social media last year, APD has decided to add two light-hearted photo competitions to run alongside the event. Winners of the “Best Dressed Control Room” will be rewarded with a pizza drop while the winner of the “Best Emergency Services Dog” will claim a VIP doggy bag.
How your control room get involved?
Control room teams can sign up to International Control Room Week at www.internationalcontrolroomweek.com from Monday 2 September and will receive a free celebration box filled with balloons, bunting, sweets and a few surprises, to really get into the spirit of the initiative.