My 9-1-1 career started 12 years ago. I was working as a security guard for a University and they were short staffed in dispatch. I figured I would apply. After all, it did pay more. Little did I know what I was getting myself in to. I loved being a Telecommunicator at the University but I just felt like I could do more. So I put in my application for at least 4 cities in the area. I went through a 5-month hiring process for Arlington Police Department. I was ecstatic to start working for such a large agency. At APD they are split into “three rooms,” even though it’s really all one big room with Fire Dispatch, Calltake, and Police Dispatch.
From the get-go I wanted to be in Police Dispatch but you didn’t get to choose what room you were placed in. Thank goodness I was eventually chosen to train in Police Dispatch. From my first day on the job at APD my life was forever changed. I loved every second that I worked there. There is nothing like the rush of a good foot or vehicle pursuit. Or the satisfaction of finding the suspect’s information before anyone else could.
The most rewarding part of being a dispatcher was just that, being a dispatcher. I loved everything about my job. Of course there were many hard times, losing co-workers, feeling helpless, knowing you can’t help someone, or hearing an officer in distress; in the end it is the absolute most rewarding thing I have ever had the pleasure to be a part of. I don’t sit at a console anymore but I still work for 9-1-1 in a different capacity. However, my blood still bleeds gold and it will forever be a part of me. The person I am today is because of my experience as a 9-1-1 Telecommunicator. I wouldn’t trade it for the world.