When an emergency situation arises the first thing most people do is make a phone call to 9-1-1.
When that call is placed in Webster County, a team at the Law Enforcement Center on 1st Avenue South in Fort Dodge goes directly to work.
Director of 9-11 Services in Webster County Brian Hitchcock explained what it takes to do this job.
“You have to be a multitasker, you have to care about the community and be able to make everything happen. There are five six seven things that go on at the same time so you have to be able to handle stress and handle everything as it comes in.”
Day Shift Supervisor with Webster County Dispatch, Christy Lumsden said there isn’t a typical day in dispatch. Each day can bring with it a rollercoaster of ups and downs.
“Just going by the moment not really thinking about what’s really going on, just doing what you need to do and then afterwards you think about it,” Lumsden said.
The level of stress that a dispatcher handles with ease during a 12 hour shift is often overlooked as the situations they are fielding are taken care of, but there is a real person behind each and every call placed to dispatch.
Dispatcher Trish Nolan said the hardest part of her job is not getting emotional.
At the end of the day, dispatch is not alone with the trauma that can occur through the phone line. Christy Lumsden said there is a time where officers and coworkers are able to follow some calls through and get some sort of closure.
“We don’t always know what happens after our end is done. We will follow up with them, they’ll give us a little bit of resolution but we don’t always get it,” Lumsden said. “It’s just a fluid movement that way where everyone can work together.”
As this is National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week we at Alpha Media News would like to say a special thankyou to all of the folks who handle the phone calls that most of us couldn’t.