The True First Responders: Becoming a 911 Dispatcher

ABILENE, Texas (KTAB) -  It's more than just answering a call. The call takers and dispatchers with the City of Abilene consider themselves to be the true first responder.

"We're the first, first responders," stated 911 dispatcher Lindsey Decker. "We might not be on scene but we are absolutely there."

Helping someone through what might be the worst day of their life.

"Something that one person might consider a small thing is a very big thing to somebody else," added Decker, "and we want to make sure we are holding their hand."

Some calls can even be personal.

Decker recalls a time when a coworker was in an accident.

"When Joe Tidwell with the fire department passed away. Him and Shauna were both in that accident. She had worked very close with us and I took that call and for me that's the hardest one for me," Decker explained.

It takes a special person to become one.

"You know, everybody in here is a Type A personality. It's just because you have to be able to take charge and take control and know exactly what you need to get on with it," said Decker.

The City of Abilene is currently looking to hire six more dispatchers. You must pass a series of tests before you can even be considered for the job.


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