National Public Safety Telecommunicators' Week: A glimpse in the - KULR8.com | News, Weather & Sports in Billings, Montana

National Public Safety Telecommunicators' Week: A glimpse in the life of a dispatcher

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BILLINGS, Mont. -

It is National Public Safety Telecommunicators' Week. KULR-8 visited the Billings Dispatch Center and caught a glimpse of a day in the life of a dispatcher.
Sam has been working as a dispatcher for over a year.

"There's so much that this job has that we have to learn and help with everyday," Sam said.

Anne Kindness is the communications center manager and said dispatchers undergo about 2,200 hours of training. She said that's equivalent to a college degree. Dispatchers are trained for any situation they receive over the phone, which can be mentally draining.

"This is a difficult, complex job," Kindness said. "It's unlike anything else that you can do out there and I think people underestimate the emotional stamina it takes to endure the things that these dispatchers are going to encounter."

"Calls where people are finding a loved one or family member in a really bad spot is what affects me the most," Sam said. "And you're trying to tell them how to do CPR, giving them some kind of life saving instructions."

"Life circumstances change on a dime and we're there as a form of a safety net to catch people when they're falling through those situations," Kindness said.

Kindness said this is the one week dispatchers are encouraged to dress up and participate in games and activities as an incentive to bring closeness with the coworkers who understand what each other is going through, and are still there for the community.

"People aren't calling on the best days of their lives," Kindness said. "They're calling when they are having the worst day and we know that. We accept that and we'll roll with it because we're here to help you. That's what the end game is."
 

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