A Barnesville man by letter joined the Schuylkill County Commissioners in paying tribute to the Schuylkill County Emergency 9-1-1 Dispatch Center during the weekly meeting of the commissioners held Wednesday at the courthouse in Pottsville.

The commissioners adopted a proclamation designating the week of April 11 through 17 as "National Telecommunicator Week," and Commissioner Frank Staudenmeier read a letter received by the county 9-1-1 Center from Frank C. D'Amato, of 18 Pear Street, Barnesville, who also is a member of the New York City Fire Department.

In the letter D'Amato wrote, "On February 14, 2010, my wife called (Schuylkill County) 911 after I passed out from a reaction to medication. I have served the citizens of New York City for 22 years with FDNY and I am proud to say that I live in Schuylkill County and was very impressed with the response from 911.

"I would like to thank the EMT's from Ryan Township and Parmedics from Shenandoah that responded to my home in my time of need. Their professionalism made me feel very comfortable, relaxed, and definitely aided in my quick recovery. I appreciate the work you do for the citizens of this county. I would like to thank the Schuylkill County 911 center for doing a wonderful job gathering as much information as possible from my panicking wife, to send the most appropriate resources. I am currently assigned to FDNY EMS Dispatch where we dispatch 3,500 calls for help each day, so I understand the complexity of the job you do every day."

In his letter D'Amato tells on being on the scene on Sept. 11, 2001, prior to the second plane hitting the south tower of the World Trade Twin Towers and he tells of surviving the collapse of both towers.

The proclamation adopted calls attention to the dedication of the telecommunicators who man the center 24 hours a day, seven days a week and have answered more than 115,000 emergency calls in 2009. "We honor the Schuylkill County Communications Center staff for their extraordinary devotion to the ideals and goals of public safety dispatching and maintaining a consistent spirit of teamwork and cooperation and their continued pursuit of protecting life and property while maintaining the highest level of professionalism," the proclamation reads.

Present to receive the proclamation were Scott Krater, director of the 9-1-1 Center, and the two dispatchers who took the call from D'Amato's wife and initiated the emergency response, Mark Cuttik and Mary Ann O'Connor.

Other proclamations

Two other proclamations were also adopted by the commissioners.

One proclaimed the week of April 11 through 17 as "The Week of the Young Child," to recognize the dedicated, committed and caring people programs, educators, legislators and organizations that have made a difference in countless children's lives in Schuylkill County including Early Childhood Education Team, Head Start providers, PA Pre-K Counts providers, Keystone STARS Child Care providers, school districts and other community partrners in conjunction with the National Association for the Education of Young Children.

A third proclamation was adopted designating April as "Donate Life Month in Schuylkill County" to commend organ donators, past, present and future. The proclamation points out that every day lives are transformed through miraculous kidney, heart, liver, pancreas, lung, cornea, skin, bone and heart valve transplants and that nationally, the number of people awaiting a life saving transplant has doubled over the past 10 years to more than 105,000 people. It urges everyone to take a step forward by placing the organ donar designation on their driver's license.