Wisconsin State Patrol recognizes its dispatchers - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Wisconsin State Patrol recognizes its dispatchers

RIB MOUNTAIN (WAOW) - Wisconsin State Patrol is recognizing its dispatchers. It's all part of National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week.

They're available around the clock answering emergency calls. One of these dispatchers, James Smith.

"I've been a deputy, a state trooper a city officer, a dispatcher, and prisoner transport officer, I've done a lot of it and everything relies on this person sitting behind the counter here," said Smith.

Smith has worked as a state patrol dispatcher in Rib Mountain for four years, and he says he's heard a lot.

"In one situation, one of the troopers down on the South end of our district I heard his microphone clicking repeatedly and I was calling him trying to make sure he was okay, he wasn't responding and I know from experience that he was probably wrestling with somebody, and as he's wrestling with them, they're bumping the microphone so he was right on the border of two different counties, I called both counties and they were able to respond," said Smith.

Smith says being a dispatcher is not an easy task.

This week dispatchers across the country are being recognized for the work they do.  

"This is the one time of the year that our dispatchers as well as dispatchers nationally get a chance to be recognized and be more than just a voice on the phone," said Law Enforcement Dispatch Supervisor, Crystal Weden.

Weden says her dispatchers have already handled more than 8,000 incidents so far this year.

"Dispatchers have to react they don't have the luxury of having time to think about what to do, they have to be able to react to any situation that comes up," said Weden.

Situations Smith says that can get a little stressful.

"It's like any job, it has its good days and its bad days, but regardless of what kind of day it is Smith says he looks forward to coming in and picking up that phone.

"We try to help people as soon as we can and do everything we can to get them the resources they need to keep people safe," said Smith.

Because one call can be the difference between life and death.

The Law Enforcement Dispatch Supervisor says 7 dispatchers work at the State Patrol Rib Mountain post.
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