The unsung heroes of 9-1-1
Wed, 11 Apr 2012 23:30:16 GMT —
They are often times the unsung heroes. The voice that answers your call for help.
All week 9-1-1 telecommunicators are being honored for their hard work and dedication.
Pronews 7 got an inside look at just how taxing their jobs can be.
"Communications Center, this is Robin," said call-taker.
That's one of the voices you'll hear if you ever have an emergency. They try to be comforting, to keep you calm until help arrives.
"There's nothing typical about what we do, or who our customer is. Every person from every walk of life with every type of possible complaint," said Robin.
The typical day for a call-taker or dispatcher consists of 12 hours of helping you and directing our first responders.
Last year, they took an astounding 1500 calls a day.
While they are the first person you might think of calling for help. They're often left helpless on the other end of the phone while an emergency unfolds.
Given the severity of some of their calls, every dispatcher and call-taker must undergo extensive training, up to nine months of it.
"We have a really extensive training program, an in class program, a lot of computer training scenario training," said Robin.
The job is also emotionally taxing, and they can easily suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
"Their jobs are very taxing that they do out there both for call takers and dispatchers. They have to deal with the level of stress they have to deal with a great deal of variety they have to make a lot of decisions out there that affect people's lives," said Judith Weshinskey-Price, Emergency Coordinator Manager.
A few things you might think about the next time you count on these individuals as they make some life-saving decisions.
Wednesday, April 11th, an awards ceremony was held to honor those men and women at the Amarillo Emergency Communications Center.
Among the awards that were handed out were the Stork, The Citizen Hero, and the Telecommunicator of the Year.