It’s National Dispatchers’ Appreciation week, a time to acknowledge those that work behind the scenes to get us emergency services.
Sheriff David Groves of Cherokee County said, “We kind of think of it as a hub of a wheel. The criminal justice system or law enforcement and emergency responders, we’re all kind of spokes and we go out and help the community. But without that hub, without the community, without it being strong, from the inital call and getting the accurate information, and sending the right resources to the right place at the right time, nothing else comes into place as it should. So dispatch is critical.”
During any call for an emergency, dispatchers are always one call away. Last year, the southeast Kansas office answered more than 69,000 calls. And while some calls may stick with them longer than others, they’re eager to help others every day. Joel Zwahlen is a dispatcher for Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office and says, “One day you can take hardly any calls, the next day it’s nonstop. And 911 calls going in and regular admin lines coming in asking for information. All in all, at the end of the day you getas sense of accomplishment that youv’e indirectly helped someone.”
And whether the call is for a dire situation or someone that just needs to talk, they are always on the other line. Cody Conrad also dispatches at the station, and said, “My whole thought process behind answering every call is what if that was my family on the other line? So i try to treat everybody, every caller that calls in here, if that was my wife or my kid. I would want to get them the help they deserve in a timely fashion. So i just answer every call with that in the back of my mind.”
In 2018 the office transmitted more than 400,000 radio transmissions. And the sheriff says every day their office is grateful for all the work they do.