"Growing up I always found 911 to be so interesting. I Always wondered to myself who were these mysterious people answering these phone calls that also sends you help. To this day I still remember calling 911 when I was like 5 or 6 years old just to see if it worked. Not just once but like 3 or 4 times. I stayed getting in trouble with my parents. Every time the sheriff’s office would show up and knock on the door, I would be so terrified thinking they were going to take me to jail. I eventually grew out of calling 911 to see if it works stage but the curiosity of 911 was still there.
Fast forward to 2013 when I was only 15 years old at the time. On the weekend our family would usually pick a movie to watch on Friday and Saturday nights. These were my favorite nights of the week. It was Saturday, June 29, 2013, our family decided to watch this movie called “The Call” featuring Halie Berry. I remember watching this movie and thinking to myself I would love to be a 911 Dispatcher. After the movie ended, I was so interested in letting everyone know this I posted it on Facebook. I stayed on YouTube for the next couple of months listening to 911 calls and radio traffic. After those couple of months, I was getting bored of listening to 911 calls and radio traffic. It’s like the interest I had about 911 just vanished into thin air and never to be talked about again until about 2 and half years later.
In February of 2016, all the juniors at school had a chance to job shadow multiple different jobs within our county. One of those was the sheriff’s office. I was fortunate to be able to job shadow the sheriff’s office. That day of job shadowing the sheriff himself took us to the 911 center. When we walked into the 911 center, I was speechless. At that moment I knew I wanted to learn as much as I could about how the 911 center worked. Later that same day I found the email to the director over the 911 center and emailed her asking if I could do a sit-in. Later that month I was able to return to the 911 center and do my first sit-in. After leaving I knew I wanted a career in 911. From then I was doing a sit-in at the 911 center all the time. I expressed my interest in working in the 911 center but had to be 18 and have a high school diploma. I was 17 at the time and still in high school. I was told I could start as an intern when I turned 18. Knowing this I decided to take my last year of high school online. That way when I turned 18 in September I could apply for the internship and still be able to take my last few classes to graduate.
I started online classes in August for my senior year. I applied for the internship I believe in October. While still taking online classes and working a part-time job I still managed to do sit-ins. Towards the end of November, I started my internship. I was so excited to finally start learning the ins and outs of 911. During the internship, I was able to fully train just like a regular dispatcher. I did this completely free for 2 months when I was offered a part-time position in January. This was the start of my 911 career. I worked part-time from January 2017 to March 2018 when I was offered a full-time position.
During my career of working as a 911 dispatcher, I had the opportunity to advance to a communications training officer. I felt like this was filling a void in my career. During high school, I wanted to further my education by becoming a teacher. Even though I didn’t pursue this path of my career becoming a training officer made me fill that void in my life that I was needing. In October of 2020, I made to move to a much larger agency while staying part-time with the agency where I started my 911 career. I have had the chance now to become a training officer with my full-time agency. I love teaching new people how to become a dispatcher and be successful.
In the past 5 years of working for 911, I can say I have had many good calls and many bad calls. I can say without a doubt that my decision to work for 911 was by far the best decision I made at such a young age. Not everyone can do this job. When I first started training there were many days I asked myself am I cut out for this job? Now I look at myself 5 years later and know I am right where I am supposed to be. I love that I have had the chance to help so many people in my community when they needed it the most. If I had to go back in time, I wouldn’t change anything about my journey of becoming a 911 dispatcher."
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