MANATEE COUNTY, Fla. (WWSB) - National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week is a time to recognize dispatchers for their ability to act fast and manage high-stress situations, as they are the lifeline supplying firefighters, paramedics, and police officers with information.
Most people could find being a dispatcher a stressful line of work, but Manatee County dispatcher Lt. Glenn Crowl finds it rewarding.
“This is my way to give back to the community that I grew up in, so I don’t find it stressful,” said Crowl.
Once the pandemic hit that soon changed after the county had to change their operation style, which Crowl said they adjusted but starting was a bit difficult.
“It kept us on our toes with all the new changes especially at first,” said Crowl.
Changes included new guidelines regarding software upgrades to screen for COVID symptoms which not only helped the lives of citizens but also their personnel working in the field.
“We knew what we were doing and how we screened our customers, would also protect our people in the field as well,” said Crowl.
Fast forward to now, Manatee County has dialed back their COVID screening questions and saw a record-breaking amount of calls in the month of March, totaling over 23,000 calls and averaging anywhere from 500-850 calls per day.
Operations Manager Rick Gisolf said currently their responses resemble a time before COVID.
“We had our busiest month in the last four years, tourism is picking up we are still pushing for social distancing and making the right choices when you’re out and about,” said Gisolf.
Gisolf said as someone in his position being able to honor his employees makes him feel rewarded.