“911, what’s your emergency?”
by Alan Reed
Apr 23, 2008 | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The law enforcement and emergency response community marked last week as National Public Safety Telecommunicator’s Week to recognize the work of the operators and dispatchers that are often the first voice citizens hear in emergencies.

Trigg County’s 911 Dispatch Supervisor Kim Wiggins said that she supervises the center and oversees daily operations in addition to her duties as a dispatcher. She schedules shifts and training of five other dispatchers at the center. She ensures that the dispatch center’s building, located in the basement of the Trigg County Sheriff’s Office, and equipment remains operational and reports problems with the 911 system.

In addition, Wiggins’ duties include maintaining and updating the map of roads and structures in Trigg County to allow emergency responders to arrive at an incident quickly. She said that she adds new structures to a geographical information system, adds new roads and streets, which she recommends names for, to a map and sets points for 911 calls to another mapping system.

Wiggins said that she also develops standard operating procedures for her staff, some of which have been adopted by the Department of Criminal Justice Academy in Richmond into a training curriculum.

In 2007, Wiggins said that her center took 54,464 first calls and 2,080 calls on call waiting, 5,159 of them came in as 911 calls. “Out of the 911 calls, some were not emergency calls. Sometimes we had pranks, and sometimes we received accidental calls. The biggest problems we have with accidental calls are cellular phones in individuals pockets.”

Wiggins asked that residents without an emergency use the dispatch’s non-emergency number 522-8888 for inquiries or to report non-emergency situations. “The first question a dispatcher will ask is ‘Where is your emergency?’ That says what a 911 call should be used for.”

Read more about 911 Dispatchers inside this week's Cadiz Record.
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