Demand for Emergency Dispatchers Increases

by Diane Tuazon
NewsWest 9

ODESSA - Taking those calls that would normally scare people is just a normal thing for emergency dispatchers. When you're in desperate need of help, they're the ones on the other line waiting to assist you, but that job is not easy.

"When you're a dispatcher you really have to be able to listen and tell what a person telling you. When you focus on that you can facilitate with proper response," Vicky Davis, Director of Odessa Public Safety Communications, said.

Being a dispatcher requires a unique individual who can work under pressure, listen to multiple conversations, and most of all, have good judgement in any given situation.

"Suicide calls are ones that really sticks with you. You wonder what could I have said, or what could I have done," Dispatch Supervisor Yvonne Wood, said.

Wood has been a dispatcher for four years says the hardest part is having to seperate her emotions with the job.

"I have to say a prayer in the morning. Some calls you may shed a tear, but you go outside and take a breath," Wood said.

Davis says most of the time the calls end on a positve note.

"The other day, a dispatcher took a call of a baby not breathing, he took action, and by the end of the conversation, the baby was breathing again. How nice is that to be able to make a difference. That child is alive because of you," Davis said.

Davis says that's what keeps her coming into work each day.

"It's probably the most rewarding job for a person who enjoy's helping others. Yeah you can be a teacher, but if you want to be in another field as a dispatcher, there's just not a better career," Davis said.

It's a job that some say can out last a tough economy.

"It's something that's stable. It doesn't matter what's going on in the economy. There's always a need for emergency call takers," Wood said.