ASHLAND, KY (WOWK) — Dispatchers are the people behind the scenes, making sure law enforcement are informed getting to a call and comforting others while they wait for help. Many times, they’re someone’s first point of contact during an emergency situation.
April 12, 2020 through April 18, 2020 is “National Telecommunicator Appreciation Week.” At the Ashland Post of the Kentucky State Police on Route 60, there are 7 dispatchers, and across the Bluegrass State there’s 180 KSP dispatchers.
In 2019, KSP dispatchers answered 2.1 million calls. The KSP Ashland Post took nearly 170,000 calls, resulting in about 16,000 calls for service.
“The call volume is extremely high for them, so they are working tirelessly day and night and it’s greatly appreciated,” said Trooper Bobby King of the KSP Ashland Post. “If it’s a 911 call where someone needs CPR, our dispatchers walk those people through how to do CPR and how to save lives. Our dispatchers are saving lives daily.”
KSP dispatchers say at the end of the day, it’s all about helping people.
“We are the people that are on the phone, getting the first information,” said Mendi Bass, Radio Room Supervisor at the KSP Ashland Post. The 18-year veteran dispatcher says things look different in the midst of COVID-19 for people working out of the KSP Ashland Post. “It’s kind of stressful from time to time. Dispatchers have to leave and go home and teach class to their kids, too, so, your day doesn’t end when you leave here taking phone calls.”
Unlike police officers or other essential employees, dispatchers don’t really wear a uniform, so they don’t receive that immediate recognition in public.
If you know a dispatcher, make sure you thank them and check in on them while this pandemic continues as they continue to work answering your calls and get you the help you need.