911 dispatchers working through added stressors of COVID-19

Local News

LUBBOCK, Texas– Lubbock County 911 dispatchers have all hands on deck to serve the community during these uncertain times of COVID-19.

As the first to respond to any emergency dispatchers are learning to adhere to new protocols in order to account for calls concerning the virus. Jessica Ramos has served as a dispatcher for 9 years and says 2020 has been the most chaotic.

“The world is so crazy – more so now than it was 9 years ago,” said Ramos. “Now with coronavirus and having to take calls from citizens about people going against the mayor and governors orders, we’ve had to adjust how we send officers out to those types of calls.”

Dispatchers now ask if someone has been exposed to the virus when they ask where they are located.

“My feeling is some people feel ‘If I say yes, does that mean nobody is coming?’ But no, rest assured — somebody is always going to come,” Ramos said. “It’s just for the protection of the officers.”

In this time where coronavirus takes priority in many circumstances, for emergency response time, there are some incidences that are still a higher priority.

“Obviously everyone has their own definition of what an emergency is,” said Ramos. “[But] COVID calls, while there is danger associated with it, is not as high as a priority because there could be the threat of somebody else’s life is in danger.”

Lubbock dispatchers said they hope the community can be patient during these times and that people understand they are doing what they can to best respond to each situation.

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