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Unsung heroes (WY)

To the Editor:Can we take a minute to talk about some of our most unsung heroes in our county? I’m referring to our dispatchers, the people who answer our calls when we are having an emergency. 
It’s important for our citizens to know how often these people are forgotten as some of our most important heroes in our community. When we call them, it doesn’t matter which town we are from, whether we are in the city or the county. What matters to them is getting us the help we need, as quickly and efficiently as they can. They are our fist line of defense in every situation that comes to them. They have to make the decision of who needs to be notified and sent our way. They have to know what to tell us to do in any emergency that we call them with, how to administer first aid, how to perform CPR, the safest measures to take when there’s been an accident, etc. They must keep us as calm as possible, often in situations that seem like the worst moments of our lives. 
Most importantly they are doing all of these things simultaneously. While they are dealing with us they are also monitoring our rescuers’ safety, locations and providing quickest route details. In most cases they don’t ever know the outcome of any given situation. When we hang up with them, we often forget that they have just experienced our trauma with us, but they have to be ready to answer the next call when it comes in. Can most of us imagine what the weight of that might feel like? 
After saying all of this, I’m wondering if our two governing bodies, the city council and county commissioners, have given this any thought? 
We’ve all heard about communication equipment and whether we should or shouldn’t pay for it. We’ve all heard about the possibility of a joint powers board and should we have one or not. We’ve heard discussion of the possibility of splitting the dispatch center into two different centers. 
Have these two governing entities ever talked to the people who matter significantly here? Again, referring to the dispatchers who are doing this extremely difficult job. Are they asking for their input on what they might need, to do their jobs most efficiently? Were any of them ever asked to be on a joint  powers board? Have they been asked if they want to split the dispatch center? Have they been asked for any input at all?
Are these governing agencies choosing to make all of these decisions, that affect the public’s safety, without talking to the people who actually do the job?
I believe every city council member and county commissioner should be required to spend a 12-hour shift in the dispatch center watching what these people do to keep us safe. When they do, they should pray that it’s not one of the “bad days” because they might leave there a little scarred. Maybe if we require this of them before they make these important decisions they will realize that these are not just glorified receptionists we are talking about. 
These forgotten heroes the dispatchers are in fact the oil and fuel that keeps the rest of the machine running!


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