Dispatcher Pam Bugbee sits before a bank of high-tech computer monitors. Calmly, she juggles phone calls and radio communications for the Chenango County Sheriff’s Department and a slew of other law enforcement agencies, fire departments, emergency squads and the like.
But then, a block lights up on her monitor indicating a call on one of Chenango County’s 14 emergency lines. Instantly, 100 percent of her focus is on that line.
“9-1-1. What’s the address of your emergency?” she says, as calmly and coolly as she has fielded countless calls during her 23 years as a public safely dispatcher.
“You never know what the next call’s going to be,” said Daron Schultes, one of Bugbee’s coworkers at the Chenango County Communications Center.
Whatever the situation – fire, motor vehicle accident or medical emergency – dispatchers like Bugbee and Schultes play a crucial role in getting people the help they need. They are more than a voice on the other end of the phone, explained Chief Dispatcher A. Jones; they are the link which connects the person or people in need with the emergency services they require.