Telecommunicator Week recognizes the voices behind 911

Each day calls are made to 911 from people who are in some of the worst moments of their life. The face on the other end of the emergency call rarely is ever seen. 

It is estimated that there are about 240 million calls made to 911 in the United States each year, according to the National Emergency Number Association

In Hendricks County, the director said they take close to 200,000 calls each year. 

April 8 through 14 is designated as National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week, a time to recognize and thank the calm voices on the other line.

“I’ve always had a passion for helping others, doing what I can for them. It takes a lot of patience. You have to have a certain mindset to do this job when you answer calls people are at their worst. You have to take deep breaths and realize that you are 911 and they are calling you for help,” said Megan Miller who has been a dispatcher with Hendricks County for two years.

Some days are slow, while others the phone rings non-stop.

“It’s hectic at times and quiet at times so you never know. When you dial 911, it all starts right here,” said Director Steven Cook. 

“You have to really want to do a great job to make sure that everyone is safe. When you answer that phone you never know what’s going to be on the other side,” said dispatcher of five years Nikki Hartung.
To become a dispatcher is an 18 month process. Candidates have to be able to multi-task really well while taking and answers questions, and sending the proper help to the caller. 

“My job is to supervise and update the locations of all of our police officers based on what runs they’re taking at that time. It feels meaningful. It fills like you get to come in and do something important,” said dispatcher Josh Carrigg.