By SABRINA GARRETT
The Wilson Post
Dispatchers are on the frontline of public safety when it comes to handling a crisis.
Each hour of the day, these men and women answer calls ranging from simple fixes like a cat in the tree to traumatic events such as homicide.
Lebanon Police Department Communications Supervisor Courtney Sellars, who has worked at LPD for the past five years, said that calls range from power outages to wrecks and robberies depending on the shift worked. Typically two dispatchers work on one shift.
The first shift is usually administrative calls, public works you have morning traffic and may get a wreck. On the second shift you deal with non-administrative calls, 5 oclock rush hour traffic. Most robberies will happen between 3 and 11 (p.m.), Sellars explained. Then third shift is unpredictable. You might have five or six hours where nothing happens or you might have a pursuit. There is a lot that goes on after 2 a.m. in this city.
Chief Scott Bowen said that 911 is a transferring center they transfer those calls to us, and added that the team also handles fire and animal control calls.
Bowen pointed out that a review of dispatch was conducted from Oct. 6-12, 2011, in which they received 1,476 calls during the week of testing. Of the calls, 9.6 percent were Emergency/911 calls, 27 percent were calls for service and 63.4 percent were administrative or informational calls.
Conclusions drawn from the study were that the majority of calls were received between 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. and that the majority of emergency calls were received between 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.
District 46 State Rep. Mark Pody and Lebanon Mayor Philip Craighead stopped by the department Tuesday to each present a proclamation in recognition of April 14-20 being National Public Safety Telecommunications Week.
The job they do isnt easy, Bowen said. This just shows appreciation for the job that they do.
The dispatch team was pleased with the proclamations from the city and state and indulged in a pizza and cake party. Dr. Russell Kirk of the Tennessee Oral and Implant Surgery provided a pizza from Davids Pizza in Lebanon and Lodge 83 of the Fraternal Order of Police donated a cake.
In a press release, Wilson 911 Director J.R. Kelley said that in a week, Wilson 911dispatchers receive hundreds of calls requesting assistance in the county.
These dedicated professionals work side-by-side with the more visible components of Public Safety, including law enforcement officers, firefighters, emergency medical personnel, and others to provide prompt emergency services 24/7/365, the statement read. Although rarely acknowledged, because they are not physically at the scene, these hearts behind the voices serve as vital links to emergency services within our cities and throughout our county. They provide an invaluable service in emergency situations and deserve our heartfelt appreciation.