SARASOTA (WWSB) - 911 operators are often the first people to hear when tragedy strikes. Those phone calls often haunt dispatchers, and put them at risk for PTSD.
This week has been set aside to celebrate and honor their service.
In the Manatee Emergency Operations Center is where you can find Manatee County’s 911 and Sheriff Office Dispatchers and Telecommunicators. Many selflessly come in daily to take calls from citizens who may be in dire need.
This week is National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week. Dispatchers and call takers are getting the extra appreciation they deserve.
In the Manatee County Sheriff Office Communications Center there are between 7-8 call takers and dispatchers who answer nearly 1,000 calls a day. Calls that come from citizens and deputies working in the field.
We spoke to a Manatee County Telecommunicator Theresa Talbot. She tells ABC 7 she has been working as a dispatcher for 18 years. Talbot says her job isn’t easy but what keeps her going is knowing she’s helping someone who may be in need.
“It’s very hectic, satisfying and very tiring, that would be my day for 12 hours. Probably the most stressful calls are anything that involves children. Me being a mother, so those are more personal to me. Those are the hardest for me," says Talbot.
Those 7-8 dispatchers service all of Manatee County and its more than 380,000 residents. The department is hoping to expand by hiring 6 full-time and 4 temp Telecommunicators. You can apply here: https://www.governmentjobs.com/careers/manateeso