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Apr 10

A Day in the Life of a Telecommunication Officer

Posted on April 10, 2017 at 12:55 PM by Katie Stamy

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The City of Webster recognizes its hard-working dispatchers in honor of National Telecommunicators Week, April 9-15!

When people think of first responders, they think police, fire, and EMS; however, dispatchers are an integral part of the public safety team.

A dispatcher must be a great communicator who can handle many tasks at once. In the high-stress work environment, dispatchers must be prepared to handle any situation that arises.

Not everyone can handle the stress of being a dispatcher, says Webster Lead Telecommunicator Tiffany Swanson, who has been a dispatcher for 18 years.

The most distressing emergency calls for Swanson involve babies that are not breathing. She must remain calm during the emergency, no matter how hysterical the caller is, or how heartbreaking the situation may be. Breakdowns in communication could mean life or death consequences for officers and the public.

Most often, the dispatchers do not have the opportunity to find out the end result of a call, but according to Swanson, it is often better not to know.

Although Webster Telecommunicators currently dispatch for Webster, Nassau Bay, Southeast Houston, and Clear Lake Emergency Medical Corps, a large percentage of calls they receive are accidental dials. Swanson urges the public to remain on the line and tell the dispatcher that it was an accident, instead of immediately hanging up the phone. This saves time and effort that the dispatchers could be using to help a real emergency.

The Webster Telecommunicators take their job very seriously, so on your worst day, they are there to help.