Dispatchers do more than just talk

Published: Apr. 13, 2017 at 6:25 PM MDT
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Sometimes we take for granted the person who helps us through a difficult time.

Dispatchers try to juggle law enforcement, first responders and incoming calls from citizens.

But they'll always be there to answer the call.

“It's something different every day,” said Angel Hunsaker, Shift Supervisor.

The crazy and chaotic life of a 911 dispatcher.

“Every day is an adventure here, you don't know what you're going to get,” said John Moore, Director of SIRCOMM.

Operators work 12 hour shifts at SIRCOMM headquarters in Jerome.

They handle calls from many counties across southern Idaho.

“There might be someone who's stabbed and someone's screaming on the phone and you can barely understand them, the next phone call might be a water on the road complaint,” said Hunsaker.

Mellow to hectic, day by day.

“That can change from second to second of what they have to handle,” said Moore.

Others push the limits.

“Some of the snowstorms that we've seen this year that just taxed the staff and the equipment,” said Moore.

But the person on who answers the phone while you go through a crisis says they do more than just talk.

“You have to be able to interact and communicate with people on the phone, reach out and talk to them, not just answer the phone,” said Hunsaker.

With this week being national public safety telecommunicators week they say a little thanks goes a long way.

“Just that extra thank you at the end of a phone call or thanks for helping me for the day, they mean a lot to us,” said Moore.

SIRCOMM staff celebrated by having dress up days at work and potlucks throughout the week, inviting paramedics and law enforcement to join in.

They tell me, they’re just glad to help.

The dispatch center is hiring. Anyone who is interested can go to sircomm.com/news/job-openings.html