911, What’s your emergency?

National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week
National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week(WJHG)
Published: Apr. 15, 2021 at 6:08 PM CDT
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BAY COUNTY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - The 911 dispatcher is the calm voice at the other end of an emergency call that lets you know help is on the way.

“Back in high school, I went through the program, and at the end of your four years you get a certification and my senior year I was like I am not doing this, and I graduated, I got into it and four years later I’m here I like helping people,” 911 Dispatcher Brittney Shelton said.

In 2020, Bay County 911 dispatchers answered more than 101,000 phone calls. That’s 251 calls a day.

They are the first responder in some situations, and their job can be very stressful and demanding.

“It is always the children calls that get me, I hate when they are like, ‘My child stopped breathing,’ and I am like, ok let’s get on to this, it is just a lot,” Shelton said.

Shelton tells us the hardest part of the job is not having closure, sometimes she never finds out what happens to the people who call for help.

“There are times I want to know what happened, and other times maybe it is better off that I don’t know what happened, and let the other first responders take care of that,” Shelton said.

Shelton tells us her job sometimes affects her life outside of work.

“I like the quiet, I will sit in my car drive all the way home in quiet, sometimes I will sit on my couch and do nothing and enjoy the quietness,” Shelton said.

At the end of the day, Shelton tells us she or anyone else could not do this job unless they loved it

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