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Dispatchers’ presence invaluable, especially during pandemic

by | Apr 7, 2021 | Latest

Dispatchers may not put out fires or take patients’ tempera­tures or blood pressure, but they do exist in the category of front­line workers who perform a vital role in ensuring first responders do their jobs.

The work of dispatchers was especially important in this last year as they directed first re­sponders to scenes of 9-1-1 calls and could offer critical informa­tion such as whether a person had COVID-19.

Tristian Porter, communica­tions supervisor at the Wylie Po­lice Department’s 9-1-1 commu­nications center, is one of those unsung frontline people. She has worked at the WPD for 13 years. She started her dispatcher duties when she was 21.

“My mom was a dispatcher when I was growing up and my stepdad was a police officer and I just kind of fell into it right along,” said Porter, who works 12-hour shifts and has a 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. duty at the 9-1-1 commu­nications center at WPD.

Porter trains people in the communications center and can fix anything that may arise or help with phones if a busy period occurs or when something large happens, such as a structure fire.

The state requires certain training for dispatchers within a year of their employment. Plus, dispatchers have continuing ed­ucation hours.

For the full story, see the April 7 issue or subscribe online.

By Don Munsch[email protected]

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