A day in the life of a Raleigh County dispatcher - WVVA TV Bluefield Beckley WV News, Weather and Sports

A day in the life of a Raleigh County dispatcher


BEAVER, W.Va. (WVVA) For those in their darkest hour, they're the ones on the other end of the line. Day in and day out, they spend sleepless nights answering life-altering calls.

"There's times in dispatch where the calls can go from zero to 100 percent in a matter of seconds," explains Raleigh County 911 Dir. John Zilinski. 

The 911 calls can range from a five alarm fire to a mine explosion to someone who isn't sure they can go on.

"For me one of the most touching calls was a lady, I just listened to her. Just listening. I know it helped her during a bad time," said Raleigh County's 911 Communications Dir. James Huggins. 

According to Zilinski, their dispatchers are trained professionals with a knack for multitasking. In major events, his crew is trained to answer every call and treat everyone as someone with possibly life saving information.

That also means working as a team, explained Huggins. While each dispatcher is responsible for different agencies, they are often required to step in and help with everything from dispatching wreckers to pre-alerting firefighters. 

But the hardest part their job, according to Zilinski, is saying goodbye. After they've dispatched the call to first responders, dispatchers don't always see what happens next. 

"That's one of the hardest things, when you have to take a call and then leave it to go to the next call." 

Sometimes, though, they do hear successful resolutions as in the case of Savannah Dancey. The dispatcher answered a call earlier this year and successfully resuccitated a patient through explaining CPR.

"About the biggest enjoyment a dispatcher can have is on a CPR or child birth case....the medical calls. They take that with pride knowing that they've been successful." 

Raleigh County 911 is hiring three new dispatchers. Anyone interested in joining the team may learn more by visiting http://pages.suddenlink.net/raleigh911/

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