Durant 911 call center improvements - KTEN.com - No One Gets You Closer

Durant 911 call center improvements

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DURANT, OK - The dispatchers at the Durant Communication Center take calls and dispatch for eight law enforcement agencies, 18 volunteer fire departments, one full time fire department, and four ambulance services.

When every second counts, things can get pretty crazy in the call center.

Lacy Dillingham loves being a dispatcher at the Durant Communication Center, but it's a job that isn't always easy.

"You always have the calls, the high stress, high emergency calls that you try not to take home with you," said Dillingham.

Dillingham says the job is rewarding, but being a 911 operator isn't for everyone.

"Dispatching is a one of a kind job, it's high stress, multi tasking and providing services for the community."

"They may have 2 or 3 phone calls going at one time and a police officers, a fireman or EMS on their radio asking for certain things and they're able to multitask this," said Durant Police Captain, Mike Woodruff.

So far this year her office has taken 54,000 emergency calls that required a fire fighter, ems, or an officer to be dispatched.

"Patrol officers are on the front line between the criminals and the citizens but the dispatchers are the first of the front line and I think that sums it up for all the dispatchers," said Captain Woodruff.

So Captain Woodruff says they're working on some improvements to make dispatchers jobs a littler easier.

Like some online training with a national organization, and important updates to their web site.

Updates they say will cut down on unnecessary calls to the center and save dispatchers vital time.

"It's a win win for everyone, the training that we have either in house, or online, when instructors come in, it better prepares our dispatchers to help better serve not only the public but the officers that they've sworn to serve."

Dillingham says one of the most important things the public should know is as soon as you call them, they're already working to get help to you, so give them the information they ask for.

"When you're on a 911 call and we're getting the information, of course it's their emergency and they want someone responding, we are taking the information at the same time we're getting units in route."

Captain Woodruff says right now they always have two dispatchers on duty.

One for the Bryan County and one for the Durant Police, but their goal is to add a third dispatcher for emergency medical calls within the next year.