Every day, they answer your 911 calls. WINK News got a behind the scenes look at what it is like inside the Collier County Emergency Dispatch Center.
Dispatchers admitting they do not know what type of emergency they will be answering when the phone rings. They said they know they can change a life every time they pick up the phone.
They are the first line of defense when it comes to your emergencies.
“It’s pretty stressful just the unknown of what’s it’s going to be and so forth,” said Kris Murphy, a dispatcher for the Naples Police Dept. and Naples Fire-Rescue. “But it’s also very rewarding being able to help people.”
“I have moments between,” said Mandi Amell, a dispatcher for Naples Police Dept. and Naples Fire-Rescue, “when you hear someone’s baby is having an allergic reaction from the time that fire or EMS gets on scene and helps them that’s good.”
The main focus for the dispatcher is to get you the help you need in a timely fashion, regardless of the circumstances. Bob Finney, communications director for the Collier County Sheriff’s Office, said even though they are different agencies around the county, all have to be in sync and rely on each other daily.
“If for some reason we’re overwhelmed because of a large incident, say something really big happens and so more calls come in than normal,” Finney said. “Then our other dispatch center at the city of Naples can also receive calls and put them into the system.”
But its the timing that matters the most. For instance, if a child has gone missing from a bus stop, the departments have to use the CAD System, which allows for information to be imputed into their computers and shared throughout the agencies. That can help track that child down. For dispatcher Laura Vasquez that speaks volumes.
“We help you we start the CPR if we have to we help you when your baby is choking and you don’t know what to do and your frantic,” Vasquez said. “I’m a mother and I know that feeling so to have someone on the other end of that line who can help me until the paramedics arrive is the world.”
Now, each dispatcher goes through a lengthy process to be certified before they handle the phone lines, but it is all in an effort to keep the public safe.
“We try to all work as a team and get the job done,” said Orelys Parez, a dispatcher for CCSO.