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Celebrating National Public Safety Telecommunicator Week

Home News Stories from the Turnpike Celebrating National Public Safety Telecommunicator Week

When C.J. Snavely answers the phone, he never knows what he’ll hear on the other end – but it’s his job to remain calm and professional, no matter the call.

“What I enjoy the most is being able to help somebody,” Snavely said. “When they’re calling us, they’re at their worst, or they’re calling for help, so to be able to get them services in a quick amount of time and make their day a little better is what I most enjoy every day.”

Snavely has been a dispatcher with the Pennsylvania Turnpike’s Traffic Operations Center for about a year and a half, and we celebrate him and all those who answer *11 calls during this National Public Safety Telecommunicator Week.

You can hear what he and 24-year-veteran dispatcher Brian Hockenberry have to say about their jobs in this video:

Celebrating National Public Safety Telecommunicator Week (

For both Snavely and Hockenberry, the job is a way of serving the public. Like many who work in the ops center, they are also volunteer firefighters, so they know what it’s like to be on both sides of the call.

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Brian Hockenberry, pictured above, has more than twenty years of experience working as a dispatcher for the PA Turnpike in the Traffic Operations Center.

And sometimes, those calls can be challenging. Hockenberry was one of the dispatchers who handled the call for the Fort Littleton shooting in 2016, when he and dispatcher Rick Fleck were the voices of calm during that harrowing day. Hear what Hockenberry has to say here:

Being the calm in the chaos (

Dispatchers like Snavely, Hockenberry and all those who work in the ops center and 911 centers around the nation are a crucial part of public safety, though they do not always get the same recognition as other first responders. That is why we take this week to honor the work that they do.

“In an emergency, we’re the first communications that somebody has for help,” Hockenberry said.


By Steve Marroni, Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission, Communications Specialist