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Tuesday, 22 June 2021

National Public Safety Telecommunicators week honors 911 dispatchers

Credit: WTHI
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National Public Safety Telecommunicators week honors 911 dispatchers
National Public Safety Telecommunicators week honors 911 dispatchers
National Public Safety Telecommunicators week honors 911 dispatchers

Public public public safety telecommunicator's week celebrates the state's unseen first responders.

You may not see dispatchers... but they're the first ones you'll talk with in an emergency.

News 10's bureau chief gary brian has one dispatcher's story.

Gar} "every day people in need here in knox county will call central dispatch.

No matter the severity, a dispatcher will become the first to respond."

Teresa baize has spent decades helping people.

"my mother always told me i should be a nurse and i kept telling her no."

Baize has spent time as a fire figher...and yes even some time as a nurse.

But for the last 13 years she's sat on the frontlines behind a desk as a 911 dispatcher.

"the first few years i'm in it was difficult trying to, i knew the area."

That helped when a coworker's son was in a bad wreck.

"our system had went down and because i knew the area i just sent everybody.

Ended up, i mean got burnt and so did his friend that was in the vehicle, but now they're fine."

Being close to the community can help...but it can also make the bad nights worse.

"we had a drowning of a child, we had an suv that had rolled over, we had another trauma patient."

Baize had babysat the child who had drowned that night.

But still she had a job to do.

"that hit me very hard.

Now it didn't hit me until after.

But it did hit me hard."

It's no easy task for 911 dispatchers.

For those first to respond...the next phone call could be someone they know or love who is in perril.

But for baize...it's all about taking care of the community she loves.

"there is just something about being able to help others."

Gar} "at the top of the hour i'll have more on why dispatchers here do the job.

In knox county, gary brian news 10."

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