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Emergency dispatchers recognized for their service

Dispatch center
Nick Robinson
WAOW Television
Dispatch center

During National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week, first responders in Central Wisconsin are thanking their dispatchers for all that they do.

It's a call that no one hopes to make, but one that dispatchers at the Marathon County Sheriff's Office receive nearly 175,000 times per year. Every time they pick up the phone, they're expected to remain calm and assist in any way they can, no matter what the person on the other end is going through.

Lieutenant Cory Gladden oversees the sheriff's office's dispatch center, and says it's important to have their back. He said, "When we hire new dispatchers, we understand that they're going to have to be dealing with those types of calls. So, making sure that they have a supportive system here at the Sheriff's Office and in their home life to be able to deal with those types of calls. They're consummate professionals."

While they might be a big help to the person calling, Gladden said they're equally as valuable to law enforcement, adding, "Our dispatchers are trained to gather as much information as they can, whether that be through active listening, or using probing questions to get as much information so that we can provide either fire, law, or EMS that appropriate information."

Gladden says that dispatchers often work long hours, but that they're able to get through it because they know how important their job is. He said, "Our dispatchers work 12 hour shifts, so about 40 hours a week with every other weekend off. They ultimately want to help the community and that's why they've taken the jobs on that they have."

While he says the sheriff's office shows their appreciation year-round, Gladden said that this week is a good opportunity for the public to show their appreciation for the ones who connect them with life-saving help.

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