A Week to Thank 911 Operators

If you've ever had to make a 911 call in an emergency, odds are you've been greeted by a steady voice at the other end ready to help. This week is dedicated to saying thanks.
By Michaela MacDonald
mmacdonald@klbk13.tv

LUBBOCK, TX -- If you've ever had to make a 911 call in an emergency, odds are you've been greeted by a steady voice at the other end ready to help. Belinda Escobedo is one of those voices.

"911 what is your emergency?" said Escobedo.

During her almost 15 years as a 911 operator, she says she has just about seen it all.

"They range from barking dog calls to burglaries to disputes with neighbors, domestic disputes, shootings, stabbings, we get just about everything you can think of," said Escobedo. "You have to learn to direct them, some of them obviously are in a stressful situation so you have to do your best to get the most accurate information for the officers that are responding."

This week is National Telecommunications week -- it's a week to celebrate the work these emergency communicators do to help citizens in need and first responders.

First responder representatives from Lubbock Police, Fire, EMS and the Sheriff's Office released a video giving thanks.

"There's a group of men and women who help save lives daily by answering America's cry for help," said Fire Chief Mike Kemp.

"They are the 911 dispatchers and without them first responders of law enforcement, fire and EMS would not be able to do their jobs as quickly and efficiently," said Police Chief Roger Ellis.

"This week has been set aside in our nation as National Public Safety Telecommunicator Week," said EMS Director Chris Teague.

"Join me and the Lubbock 911 board of managers in saying thank you to our local heroes," said Sheriff Kelly Rowe.

Escobedo admits its a stressful job, but at the end of the day it's worth it.

"You know that you've helped somebody. Some days are obviously easier than others but you know we are here for a purpose so it's good to know that at some point you did some good and helped somebody, whether that’s just giving somebody directions or getting somebody some medical attention in a car crash, you know helping a caller," she said.

Escobedo says since Lubbock has been growing rapidly, they are in need of more 911 operators. For information on how to apply, visit the city of Lubbock website: http://www.mylubbock.us/departmental-websites/departments/police-department/divisions/communications



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