911 Dispatchers recognized for resiliency, community service

Published: Apr. 17, 2019 at 5:37 AM CDT
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This week, 911 dispatchers across the United States are recognized for their efforts to save lives.

Any given day at any time, Sedgwick County's emergency dispatch office is staffed with 12 to 14 people, ready to take your calls.

Dispatchers are trained to keep calm in high-stress scenarios. That means learning emotional resiliency, and not getting lost in feelings while dealing with difficult calls.

The Director of Emergency Communications says call takers miss holidays and family events to help on what may be the worst day of our lives

"We are taught from the earliest of ages that 911 is there for you and we have that ingrained but because that's part of our subconscious," said Elora Forshee. "We don't even think about it. but there's a person behind that promise that a community makes."

Dispatchers in Sedgwick County coordinate for 31 different agencies throughout the county.

They're trained to keep you safe while you wait for emergency crews to arrive.

“While that help is coming, we’re going to start doing things for you," Forshee said. "We’re going to do CPR instructions, we’re going to open airways, we’re going to provide you direction on how to stay safe, we’re going to just be that person on the other end of the line when everything is falling apart and that’s what you need.”

Sedgwick County's Dispatch Center is celebrating National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week with special contests and decorations.