SHERMAN, TX - As we've seen, emergency response is vital, especially on days like Thursday. So a special training for emergency dispatchers Thursday morning came in especially handy. Daniel Gotera has more.
They're on the other end of the phone when you dial 9-1-1, dispatchers making sure emergency vehicles get to where you are to assist. But today, they were the ones getting the assistance.
"We were hearing more from fire fighters and fire departments that they would like dispatchers to understand more about fire communications and what they need," says Peggy Shelley, TCOG’s 911 Program Manager.
For the next two days, dispatchers from Cooke,Grayson and Fannin counties will be in Sherman learning the proper ways to handle a fire dispatch situation.
Dispatcher Krystal Lokker says it’s surprisingly different from those involving police. “It’s a lot different because you dispatch them out and time is very crucial. Time can be crucial with police too but it depends. Not every call is crucial. If they're backed up they can wait. They can’t wait if there is a fire."
Krystal Lokker has worked as a dispatcher in Denison for three years, but for the last year she has served the fire department. She says the training session has taught her many new things. “You kind of need to know which type of unit does what kind of job but mainly their importance at many different types of scenes."
That's one of the goals instructor Brian Porter wanted to get across. "Often times with fire dispatchers they're just given little or no training on the fire service overall."
Officials with Texoma Council of Governments, the organization hosting the training session, say there are between 80-100 dispatchers in the three county area and most of them have to deal with both police and fire and sometimes, even snow, which is why the session Thursday went on as planned. “They would all laugh and say why we're all essential employees we have to come to work no matter the weather conditions.”