We’ve passed the halfway mark in the observance of National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week. This is the time we celebrate the efforts of emergency dispatchers.
Dawn Bau, the Chief Dispatcher at the Starke County Sheriff’s Department, says the county dispatchers communicate emergency information to four police departments, three ambulances, seven fire departments and assist with the Indiana State Police and the Department of Natural Resources when needed.
“Dispatch is a fully-enhanced 911 system with phase two wireless service. We have eight full-time dispatchers and one part-time dispatcher. They are all certified in EMD, IDACS, NCIC, CPR and we receive yearly training. EMD is Emergency Medical Dispatch, IDACS is the Indiana Data and Communication System and NCIC is the National Crime Information Center,” stated Bau.
Bau explained that while they aren’t the ones who are in the car during a high speed pursuit, the firefighter at the scene or the person who breathed life into an ailing patient, they are the voice who got those qualified individuals to the scene of an emergency.
She stated that they are often criticized by officers and callers. Bau, a nine-year veteran at the sheriff’s department, says she loves her job and helping the public in their time of need.
“Dispatchers have one thing in common: they care about people and they love their job. We take pride in knowing that we are doing something that makes a difference. We save a life or protect property by getting help where it is needed as quickly as possible.”