Local dispatchers honored for Denison shooting calls

DENISON, Tex. (KXII) - 911 dispatchers take life-changing calls every day, and this week they're being honored for National Dispatchers Awareness Week.

It's a job Denison dispatcher Andrew Baldridge said he loves.

"You never know what they're dealing with," he said. "Did they stub their toe, or did they just get into a three vehicle accident on the highway?"

For Baldridge and other dispatchers, emergencies are the status quo.

"I don't think that a good dispatcher can be overstated enough," Baldridge said. They are the link right there between the caller that calls in and the traumatic event."

"It's probably the most stressful job in the department," said Denison Police Lt. Mike Eppler. "People don't really know the load they have."

Eppler said two of their dispatchers were honored with a Silent Hero Award, going above what's expected.

"This particular case is still an open case but it was a shooting case and they performed outstanding," Eppler said.

Eppler said the dispatchers helped EMS and police respond quickly and safely while also keeping everyone calm. He said this week is its a good reminder about the importance of the voice on the phone.

"They're the very first contact people have," he said.

Baldridge takes pride in being that voice.

"None of us get into this to be millionaires, it takes a little bit of selflessness," Baldridge said. "Wanting to make a difference and actually helping people."

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