LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - The Lubbock Police Department is celebrating National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week, honoring its dispatchers.
You may not see them, but they’re the first voice you hear in an emergency.
In the Comms Center, dispatchers are working around the clock to get life-saving resources where they’re needed most.
Jessica Ramos and James Quijada have been on the job since 2011.
“I come here because I love what I do. I love helping people and I love being the first responder on the phone. Not the first on scene, the first responder. I’m glad I get to pick up that phone every day,” Quijada said.
Dispatchers field all 911 and non-emergency calls.
Ramos says when she picks up the phone, getting a location is the first task.
“We talk to people and we have to try our best to calm them down or just stay on the phone with them until officers get there, because some situations are really scary,” Ramos said.
Dispatchers determine the call’s priority and find the closest officers available.
Quijada says that ranges from family members dying, to car crashes, and even potholes.
Once, he sent the fire department to rescue a man who was locked out of his house and tried to get in through the chimney.
“Every YouTube video that you probably see about the craziest stuff that has happened on a 911 call is absolutely true,” Quijada added.
Ramos says for her work to be recognized this week means a lot, since it’s often a thankless job.
“Nobody gets into this, you know, for praise or for worship from people, you get into this because you want to help,” Ramos added.
The police department is hiring and needs five more dispatchers to join the team.
You must pass a typing test, typing 30 words per minute at 95% accuracy.
The department encourages applicants to practice at freetypingtest.com.
The job also requires a state licensing class through the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement and training at the police department.