Dispatchers honored for Public Safety Telecommunicators Week - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Dispatchers honored for Public Safety Telecommunicators Week

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WAUSAU, Wis. (WAOW) -

For 24 hours a day, there's always someone responding inside the 911 dispatchers center.

To say thank you to dispatchers for their service, Governor Scott Walker declared April 8-14 as Public Safety Telecommunications Week. 

There are 109 dispatch centers in Wisconsin.

"Anybody that needs help, we are the ones they are going to talk to first," Marathon County dispatcher Chad Zerkle said.

Zerkle has worked in the field for 10 years and said every day is different during his 12 hour shift.

"Some days we can take a few calls, some days we will take hundreds of calls," he said.

Marathon County Dispatch receives more than 200,000 calls each year. Nearly three million in the state.

"I give them all of the credit in the world because they are the ones directing different situations and emergencies," Wausau Mayor Robert Mielke said.

A valuable lesson Zerkle has learned on the job? Zerkle said he advises anyone looking to go into the field to learn how to carefully listen.

"You have to be able to listen to people and get the gist of what's happening for their safety," he said.

Even though Zerkle said the job can be stressful at times, it's the feeling he gets for helping someone through a crisis that makes the job worth it.

Law makers across the state are posting their gratitude on social media pages for Public Safety Telecommunications Week.

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