EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – It’s Telecommunicators week, a week where community members appreciate the dedication and hard work dispatchers do to keep the community safe.
“Every telecommuter has a distinct function, However it’s like a chain, you know we all work together to get the units out to the scene, out to get the help that our callers are in need of…”911 Public Safety Shift Manager, Adriana Guillen
Guillen, and Assistant El Paso Fire Chief Jonathan Killings, share why this career is very rewarding.
“There is an entire team of men and women that are behind radios, behind those phone calls, working tirelessly, hours on end. Missing time with their family, lacking sleep, working through weekends and holidays, just so we can share that the community is safe as possible.”
According to Guillen, there are 3 functions, the 911 call taker, law enforcement dispatcher and the fire medical dispatcher.
The way the system works is when your call is received by the 911 call taker, it is simultaneously sent to the appropriate agencies. The dispatcher then voices the details to responding units.
Killings has been a firefighter for 24 years, in the 17 years he has been out in the field, and then seeing everything behind the radio has brought many challenges he’s had to face.
“Dispatch is our lifeline, whether you’re on a medical call, or whether you’re in a fire, dispatch is that lifeline to resources, if you need resources to come to your aid, you’re going to use that dispatch on the other end of the radio.” Killings said.
In the borderland, one thing is certain, not only will your call be heard but there will always be a bilingual dispatcher on the other end: speaking and writing in Spanish.
Killing says, if anything goes south, most law enforcement ride by themselves to respond quickly and professionally to get the resources out.
Many calls about children have stuck through the lives of these dispatchers. However, one that will remain vivid till this day, is the Walmart shooting back in 2019.
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