Our public safety dispatchers are the first people you talk to when you call with a crisis.
Even though dispatchers can't see what’s happening, they are the eyes and ears of our first responders — our guiding angels, who ensure that first responders get to an emergency as fast as possible.
Dispatchers sit in darkened rooms looking at computer screens and talking to voices from faces they never see. It's like reading a lot of books, but only half of each one.
Dispatchers connect the anxious conversations of terrified victims, angry citizens, people in need of help, and emergency responders.
They are the calming influence of all of them — the quiet, competent voices in the night that provide the pillars for the bridges of sanity and safety.
They are expected to gather information from highly agitated people who can't remember where they live, what their name is, or what they just saw. And then, they are to calmly provide all that information to the officers, fire fighters, or paramedics without error the first time and every time.
Dispatchers have two constant companions: other dispatchers and stress. They depend on one, and try to ignore the other. They are chastened by upset callers, and sometimes taken for granted by the public.
The rewards they get are inexpensive and infrequent, except for the satisfaction they feel at the end of a shift, having done what they were expected to do.
We admire the work they do every day to keep our officers, deputies, firefighters and paramedics safe. And our dispatchers not only keep our first responders safe, our dispatchers help connect our first responders to those who need our help as quickly as possible.