Dispatchers are the unsung heroes of public safety.
Fire District #7 Chief Brian Williams presented Webster Parish Sheriff’s Office dispatchers Lt. Terrie Clark and Lavetra Johnson with a cake in honor of National Telecommunicators Week, which is the the second full week of April each year.
“Dispatchers are the core, the nucleus of the sheriff’s office.”Webster Parish Sheriff Gary Sexton said. “It takes a special kind of person to fill the extremely important role.”
Clark and Johnson are two of the nine dispatchers that work for the Webster Parish Sheriff’s Office, where they work 12-hour shifts.
“If you dial 911 in Webster Parish, we’re the ones that answer on the first ring.” Johnson, a nine-year veteran, said.
Clark echoed Johnson’s feelings.
“Every call is important,” Clark a 14-year veteran said. “We answer respond to every call with the same urgency, be it a house fire or a marital dispute.”
Sexton said during the March 8 flood and other emergencies, the dispatchers put in a heavy payload to keep the operation working smoothly.
“Normally we have two dispatchers working,” Sexton said. “During the flood, and similar emergencies over the years, we’ve had cots pulled out and up to eight dispatchers taking shifts to make sure no call went unanswered.”