Dispatchers mark National Telecommunicators Week - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Dispatchers mark National Telecommunicators Week

911 Supervisor Wylene Rowe 911 Supervisor Wylene Rowe

They can be just as important as first responders in a life or death emergency, but they're often called silent heroes, because they don't often get much attention.

The emergency operators are wearing a different item of clothing each day to celebrate their week; a little fun in what can be a stressful job, with lives on the line.  

Shelia Fairbanks answers the call- "Albany 9-1-1, what is your emergency? "

The operators are wearing red hats, to recognize National Telecommunicators week.  But their work continues, answering the call for help at a traffic crash.  

Albany 911 Supervisor Wylene Rowe said, "We are the lifeline for the city of Albany and Dougherty County.  That's the way I see it.  Yes, we are."

The first line of communication for people who are often injured or scared. Albany 911 Operator Amanda Simpson said, "Lots of time they are just so excited or so upset.  They can't give you the correct address, or don't pronounce the road right, or forget the numerical of their address."

Operators are trained to help people on the line, while getting first responders to them as fast as possible.   "Walk them through the situation of doing CPR or just someone in the home. Having someone breaking into the home. Just knowing they are on the phone with an operator, that gives them a sense of security," Rowe said.

A red hat puts smiles on their faces, to let 911 operators know people appreciate their lifesaving work.   "It is a rewarding job.  When you get that one call that something is going bad.  You get somebody there, and the police make it all better," Simpson said.

Fairbanks says "All right, sir. We will have police dispatched to Oglethorpe and Thornton, OK.  You are welcome, sir."

A stressful but important job, for people who make a difference helping those in need of help in the community.    

Albany 911 Operators work 12 hour shifts.  In a usual shift there are eight operators, a supervisor, and one part time operator on duty to answer emergency calls.


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