With Telecommunicator Week upon us, I would like to talk a little about these great heroes. Telecommunicator Week is April 12-18, 2020, and I would like each of them to know how much they are truly appreciated. These heroes that are hardly seen but always there with a calm voice to answer your call for help. We may not be able to celebrate in the usual manor, but I would like you to see these heroes the way I do daily. Behind those calm voices there lies an array of great people.

There are currently 13 dispatchers who work tirelessly to make sure all the calls are answered and handled diligently.

Kathleen has just begun her career with us. She will be a great fit for dispatching she is eager to learn and has a very caring nature.

Jeremiah is one of the newer telecommunicators. He has been willing to learn and adapt as needed. He is a strong, proud family man. His dedication to his family carries over into his work family.

Adreanna has been with us for less than a year. She has grown from this uncertain young person into a more independent, taking life as it comes young woman. She is always willing to work or fill a spot when needed.

Melody has been with us for a little over a year. She has previous experience in healthcare, but she was to find out this side of the line was a different challenge. She has welcomed it and continues to touch many lives as she answers each call.

Dakota has been with us just over a year. He too is younger, and I believe he was not sure about this thing of dispatching, but it was a job. It has been a joy watching him learn and embrace this as a career and caring for each caller.

Whitney came into dispatch almost two years ago. She was set on helping people and making a difference in as many people’s lives as possible. She is always willing to help and take on new tasks. I believe she was in a little cultural shock at first but that did not last long. You see, being in this career and similar careers, the sense of humor gets a little warped. Be that as it may, she has become one of us and keeps striving each day to be better than the last (and I am positive praying daily, for us all).  

Stephani has been with us for almost three years. She is young and full of ambition. Always ready to jump in and get whatever is needed accomplished. She has a passion to help all the animals in the world including her pet reptile. In addition to answering your call, she has been attending college. I fear we will lose her to the veterinary world, but I hope not too soon.

Lizzie has been with us for three years.  She can chat many hours away but let the phone or radio sound and she is all business. She is vibrant and full of life. She is one to set her eyes on a goal and see it through. With her dedication to this career I believe she will do many great things.

Tyler has been with us for almost four years. He has taken strides in this career. Starting out as a shy trainee being afraid to speak up, into a confident telecommunicator. He, that once was a trainee in now a trainer, and carries that confidence through all the tasks he takes on.

Drema, has been with us for three and half years. She is one that is willing to help wherever it is needed. Her love of office supplies and organization is known throughout. She is easy going and always looking out for all other coworkers. both home and work family.

The next two I will speak about; I often joke that they raised me through my career. Little do they realize it is truer than they know, for I was but only 19 when I started. They had a few years on my senior (but we will not get much into that). They guided me not only on my career but was there for many key events in my life. There are many of my adult memories tied to them. They were there before I got married; encouraging, advising and making sure I knew the good and bad. They were there talking with me and putting up with me through both of my pregnancies. They were there to listen and lend advise when needed on all my adulting tribulations also.

You see, I am blessed more than most besides my parents I had bonus adult guidance in these two. There were many things as a young one starting out that I was ignorant on. However, they helped and explained many aspects of not only the task at hand of the career, but life also. With the two of them I have seen many changes and challenges throughout the years.

The first is Darlene, she has been with 911 for 25 years. She is one of the most intriguing people you will meet. She lives for her fur babies and is always putting their needs before hers. Don’t fret I am here to say she would drop whatever was needed, step up and help anyone. She can usually be heard during the day taking calls and dispatching.

The second is Barb, she has been with 911 for 23 years. I have always been able to depend on her to tell me how it is. She is one of the most caring and helpful individuals you will ever meet.  When it comes to dispatch, she is seen as a leader by all that work with her. Both have stayed loyal and true to the citizens of Texas County, even in times where it seemed there would not be a 9-1-1 any longer.

This group of great heroes may be small but believe me they are strong. They are family, they are always looking out for each other and helping one another through any tasks at hand. Being a dispatcher is more than accepting a position for a job. They are always checking on each other and making sure all is taken care of, if it be a shift or life in general. I am very proud of each one of them and rest assured Texas County, your calls are being answered by some of the best telecommunicators around.

I would encourage each of you to express your appreciation for your telecommunicators. This can be accomplished by just saying “Thank You.”  The acknowledgment means more than you know, not just for this one week of the year but the year throughout! As our Country is in a state of unknown, none of them have wavered on making sure everyone is safe, healthy and ready to answer the call.

The Texas County Emergency Services office in Houston is funded by a 3/8-cent countywide sales tax approved by voters in 2013. Assistant director Terra Culley can be reached by phone at 417-967-5309 or by email at terraculley911@hotmail.com.

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