Friday, January 17, 2014

That's a Lot of Calls

78,228 - That's how many 911 calls were received in dispatch last year. If you add in the other 166,161 calls that came in on the non-emergency and administrative lines, the total number is well over 244,000!

The Dispatch Center is staffed by dedicated and skilled personnel who work 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days per year.

Police dispatchers are trained to ensure the steady advances in technology and computer programming applications are used to expedite services to Overland Park citizens and visitors.

The efficiency of our dispatchers is obvious from the numbers above, and when you think of a police dispatcher, the term "multi-tasking" is a perfect way to describe their main job function. You see, the world of dispatchers can go from serene to near chaos literally in seconds when multiple emergencies occur simultaneously.

It's enough to test anyone’s ability to multi-task while also maintaining your composure under extreme duress. As you can imagine, dispatchers are trained and ready to spring into immediate action, directing responding units such as police and other emergency service personnel.

There are all types of emergency calls that dispatchers handle during their shift, but sometimes there are those calls which really affirm to us that we're making a difference in people's lives.

Around the department we like to share with new dispatchers and officers about the time an elderly male called in asking for assistance during the holidays. He didn’t need any type of emergency help, but just wanted the dispatcher to explain to him how to heat up a frozen boxed pizza.

Now this person wasn't afflicted with any type of Alzheimer's or dementia, but sadly had just lost his wife of many years and we believe he merely wanted to talk to someone during the holiday. The dispatcher was more than happy to assist with the pizza, but also took the time to listen during this time of despair for the recent widow.

Calls like these are just a small sample of the tremendous work being done by our dispatchers and the regular affirmations they receive in helping others through times of crisis, or in this case, loneliness.