Story from Rebecca Hanks, Training Coordinator, Anderson Co 911, SC

Updated: Apr 5


"There were days thought my job was coming to an end. When I say job, I mean working in a manufacturing facility.


It seemed at least once a week some departments were getting sent home early (no lie at least once a week). There were machine malfunctions that would cause down time and sometimes it could take hours to get the machines fixed. I’m telling you this to help you understand how I got to where I am at now, which is the new Training Coordinator for our agency. In 2005, I began looking for a new job. I came across the listing for a 911 telecommunication’s position. I had never really thought about the 911 system, I had never even had to call 911 before. This listing really got me intrigued, and I applied. I was excited when I got the call that my application had been accepted and scheduled a sit in for a few hours and my interview.


After sitting in I was even more intrigued about 911 and dispatching. I thought to myself, these people are making a difference every day. I wanted to be the person that got to come to work each day and help our community and our first responders.


I was offered a position and began my career as a 911 Telecommunicator. Through a vast amount of training I was released from the training phase. As a telecommunicator, I answer the phones and dispatch for police fire and/or EMS.


There is a special feeling you get when you have helped someone through their emergency. Every call is different sometimes it is something someone was or is experiencing that day that caused them to have a bad day, sometimes it was medical or they need police or fire. I’m not saying each day was the best because it definitely was not. There were days that was what seemed like the worst day. Several incidents to mention would be getting a call that an agency co-worker was found deceased in his car, or getting calls when CPR did not help a patient that was in cardiac arrest or when we had an officer involved shooting. Those are the hard days. I keep going in this career because of the calls that I am able to successfully help. After a short time, I became a CTO (certified training officer). I loved being able to share my knowledge that I had learned with our people new or experienced.


Being in this line of work there is always something to learn. Over the years, I advanced to become a Senior CTO, Assistant Supervisor, then to Supervisor. Helping lead a team is an amazing opportunity within itself, and like I said before, I have always loved sharing my knowledge with my coworkers. Over the years I have continued to learn many things about the communications center. I knew at some point I wanted to continue my path of teaching others. Which leads me to the now. I have recently began the path I have dreamed about. I am now the training coordinator for our agency. I am in consent contact with all Supervisor’s, SCTO’s, CTO’s and dispatchers. There are and will be more days when I come in early or stay late to see our night shift. I am happy with the career choice that I made back in 2005. I have learned a lot over my years of being a telecommunicator and I plan to continue to share my knowledge. With my story being said, This was the best choice for a career change and I love every minute of the good and not so good moments."