CALEXICO, Calif. - “9-1-1. Where’s your emergency.”
Those are the first words you hear when you call 911. They could save your life.
Calexico police dispatcher Veronica Valenzuela described her work.
“It’s never a regular day. Every day is something different. Every day is put your headset on and set your mind to handle whatever is going to come,” Valenzuela said.
On Tuesday, City of Calexico proclaimed the week of April 9th through 15th National Safety Telecommunications Week – emergency dispatchers’ week.
Calexico Police Chief Reggie Gomez said, “They’re the first person that law enforcement, fire and emergency medical personnel speak with and then they’re the last people that we speak with. They’re very important. They collect the information that we need to handle the emergency that we’re responding to.”
Dispatchers handle many safety departments at once.
Lieutenant Gonzalo C. Gerardo said, “The fact that they are our first line when it comes to the phone calls coming in 911s; they are the first people that you deal with; they’re the first people that send for help. Not only do they do that for public, but they’re also dispatch for police and fire in most cases.”
Valenzuela said multi-tasking is required.
“Multi-task. Multi-everything. Answer phones, answer radios for police, fire and medical. All the counter calls, the business lines, all the chp transfers, and the radio traffic between the police fire and medical,” Valenzuela said.
And dispatcher Leopoldo Miramon loves it.
“We’re as ready as can be. I don’t do it for the pay. I do it for the love of the job,” Miramon said.
Valenzuela said it’s a job that makes a difference in people’s lives.
“To me it’s very self-rewarding. Knowing that I’m the person that’s going to help the person on the other end of the line or on the other end of the radio. I’m going to get them home safe,” Valenzuela said.
Miramon said one call can save a life, sometimes many lives.
“9-1-1. Where is your emergency?”