RAPID CITY, S.D. (KELO) –Each day is different in the role of a dispatcher according to Dispatcher and Shift Supervisor, Joe Gion. He says it’s not an easy job.
“Personally I think the biggest challenge for me as a dispatcher is not knowing the outcome of the calls. We dispatch, we get the responders out there and then we go on to the next one so not knowing the outcome is the biggest challenge,” Gion said.
Dispatchers are often times the first line of help when someone has an emergency. They connect the right resources to the right places.
“The Pennington County and Rapid City 911 takes calls for fire, law enforcement and medical emergencies. Right now, it is made up of 45 dispatchers.”
“We have a great team of dispatchers here. We are the first line so when you dial 911. We are the start of everything,” Gion said.
“They are the ones that talk them through really stressful situations. Usually the worst days of people’s lives are handled by dispatchers. So they get all the information so that they can dispatch the correctly and with the amount of units that will keep our deputies safe,” Lt. Casey Kenrick, Pennington County Sheriff’s Office, said.
The Pennington County Sheriffs Office works closely with 911 dispatchers and rely on their information in emergency situations.
“They do a lot of stuff behind the scenes that maybe isn’t as visible as us driving around in a marked patrol car but is no less important than what we do in the community,” Lt. Kenrick said.
While you don’t see dispatchers in uniforms on the streets, it’s important to recognize their work behind the scenes.