911 dispatchers are being recognized for National Telecommunicators Week

The person on the other end of the line may just be the critical link in an emergency


COLUMBUS, Miss. (WCBI)- The person on the other end of the line may just be the critical link in an emergency. Operators in local emergency centers are called telecommunicators. It’s their job to match a caller and their needs with the best and fastest responder; their duties seem simple, but they are essential.

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“The 911 dispatchers actually take calls coming in from citizens and they dispatch those calls to emergency responders to be it fire, law, ems. They keep the caller on the phone to make sure they get all the information from the caller to give to the responding agency,” said Lowndes County EMA director Cindy Lawrence.

Lawrence said she and Lieutenant of Lowndes County court security, Clint Sims, are appreciative of their service.

“In Lowndes County, they are very vital to the team because that is your only way of contacting an emergency response agency,” said Lawrence.

“They’re the bridge between the public and us they’re the ones that gather the information from the public to give to us. They’re the glue of the whole works they hold it all together we support them as much as they support us and we’re all in this together,” said Sims.

Technology has advanced for the dispatchers to track where issues occur, but they haven’t stopped 18-year telecommunicator Renee Chandler. She said she enjoys what she does for others.

“You get to help people at the most stressful time of their life. The experience, the people, helping people talking to people,” said Chandler.

You can’t see them and their impact is felt and Lawrence encourages people to only call in case of emergency.

“I call them the voice in the dark because you’re talking to someone you don’t see. I encourage that if it’s an emergency to call 911 other than that we don’t offer any other information,” said Lawrence.

Lawrence said they will be having activities for the dispatchers Monday through Friday next week.