Dispatchers recognized in appreciation week - WDAM-TV 7-News, Weather, Sports-Hattiesburg, MS

Dispatchers recognized in appreciation week

Photo credit: WDAM Photo credit: WDAM
PINE BELT (WDAM) -

The second week in April is a special week to some people who hold 911 professions.

April 9-15 is National Public Safety Telecommunications week, and it is where people behind the scenes, the emergency dispatchers are recognized.

“It’s that calming voice, it’s that knowledgeable person on the other end of the phone receiver that can set the tone for everything,” Lamar County Sheriff Danny Rigel said. 

That calming voice is an emergency dispatcher, and they are generally the first line of defense when tragedy strikes.

Megan Stuart, who has been a Lamar County dispatcher for close to five years, said her job is rewarding.

“It means a lot, we deal with a lot of people and some of them are having the worst day of their lives,” Stuart said. 

But at the end of the day, she said it is all about helping people.

“Helping people, when they call in here, it’s usually an emergency and we’re their lifeline, we’re helping them,” Stuart said. “The deputies, they depend on us, we keep them safe.”

Rigel said, “That’s usually the first person, if somebody’s having a crisis or an incident, its dispatch they talk to."

Oftentimes, the job is stressful and can hit a little close to home. Recently, Stuart made the final radio call for the fallen Sumrall firefighters.

“It was a very emotional day," Stuart said. "After I did the final call, I had to go outside and just kind of take a breather."

When the job hits close to home, they lean on one another.

“But you know your coworkers are here and they’re there to talk to you through everything, so it’s a big help,” she said.

When the phone rings, their job is to keep people calm and gather information.

“When somebody calls in, we want to get them the help they need as soon as possible,” Stuart said. “We try to calm them down, tell them everything is going to be OK, and we just have a procedure that we go to, and we just want to try to get them the best help as soon as possible.”

Rigel said, “They're some of the unsung heroes, they’re the ones that people never see,” Rigel said. “I admire them, they don’t get the credit that they deserve, this week is in honor of them, and I think it’s a great thing.”

Copyright 2017 WDAM. All rights reserved.

  • Local NewsLOCALMore>>

  • Last minute grocery shoppers filled the aisles Wednesday

    Last minute grocery shoppers filled the aisles Wednesday

    Last minute grocery shoppers filled the aisles Wednesday

    Wednesday, November 22 2017 11:07 PM EST2017-11-23 04:07:25 GMT

    Last minute grocery shoppers filled the aisles Wednesday.   Jessica Bowman stopped into a Hattiesburg store to see what all the activity was about. Roshunda Trody said, "Two turkeys, ham, dressing, greens cabbage, french beans with white potatoes and turkey butts in it." Hefty dinner menus for Thanksgiving day. Trody said, "I'm from Hattiesburg, MS, but I'm back in town to be with my family for the holidays and doing a little bit of last minute shopping." ...

    More >>

    Last minute grocery shoppers filled the aisles Wednesday.   Jessica Bowman stopped into a Hattiesburg store to see what all the activity was about. Roshunda Trody said, "Two turkeys, ham, dressing, greens cabbage, french beans with white potatoes and turkey butts in it." Hefty dinner menus for Thanksgiving day. Trody said, "I'm from Hattiesburg, MS, but I'm back in town to be with my family for the holidays and doing a little bit of last minute shopping." ...

    More >>
  • Tickets on sale for the 5A South State Championship

    Tickets on sale for the 5A South State Championship

  • Tickets on sale for the 5A South State Championship

    Tickets on sale for the 5A South State Championship

    Wednesday, November 22 2017 9:42 PM EST2017-11-23 02:42:31 GMT
    Fans in line to buy tickets to the 5A South State Championship Wednesday in Hattiesburg. Source: WDAM.Fans in line to buy tickets to the 5A South State Championship Wednesday in Hattiesburg. Source: WDAM.

    Fans were waiting in the parking lot Wednesday outside Hattiesburg High School for tickets to go on sale for the 5A South State Championship Friday night. The Tigers are hosting the Laurel Tornadoes in a I-59 showdown.  The game, a repeat of the "Lil' Brown Jug" game will give the Tornadoes the chance at revenge, after Hattiesburg won the rivalry game 20-14 in August. Tyrone King was sitting in the parking lot at 11:30 a.m., waiting for the ticket office to open it's ...

    More >>

    Fans were waiting in the parking lot Wednesday outside Hattiesburg High School for tickets to go on sale for the 5A South State Championship Friday night. The Tigers are hosting the Laurel Tornadoes in a I-59 showdown.  The game, a repeat of the "Lil' Brown Jug" game will give the Tornadoes the chance at revenge, after Hattiesburg won the rivalry game 20-14 in August. Tyrone King was sitting in the parking lot at 11:30 a.m., waiting for the ticket office to open it's ...

    More >>
Powered by Frankly