“The unsung heroes:” Dispatchers raise awareness during telecommunications week

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Emergency dispatchers are the first contact for people calling for help.

There are 21 911 centers across the state.

It’s national telecommunications week, where awareness for the thin gold line is brought to the forefront.

Some dispatchers say this was their calling, but others say they fell into the profession and have never looked back.

Behind the dispatch consoles are people trying to help their community.

"As a lifeline for not only those people that call 911, but also all of those first responders," said Mike Lynk, director at state radio

A career they say not everyone is cut out for.

"When you hang up from that call or get that call dispatched over the radio or paged or whatever else you're doing you kind of have to be able to stop it, cut it out and pick up the next call you have to be ready for what's next," said dispatcher Brandy Dahlin.

Dispatchers laser focused on their calls to help assess whatever situation arises.

Dispatcher Jeni Hardy said, "We are here and we are a vital part of law enforcement and public safety in general."

And although some calls will end tragically... they say their job can be rewarding.

"To get a one year old child choking, breathing again, to this day that's probably going to be my favorite call," said Hardy.

Gaining hope in humanity

"You don’t think about it until you start working here and realize how much other people really care about other people," said dispatcher Mershia Arapovic

A job that helps others do theirs.

Lynk says there is currently a national conversation and federal bill aiming to classify dispatchers as first responders.

The dispatchers say this is something they want.