CALEXICO, Calif. - The 911 Association recently reported over 240 million calls to 911 are made each year in the U.S. On Wednesday, Calexico honored one of those emergency dispatchers taking the 911 calls.
Calexico Police Department Dispatcher Leo Miramon said, “We're called the thin gold line. Basically, taking care of our people, our citizens, as well as our police officers and firefighters.”
His job demands instant decisions that can mean life or death for someone.
“A person's choking, turning blue. I send two police officers. They were able to resuscitate the patient, and then paramedics get there.”
Miramon has been with the department for ten years.
Calexico Dispatcher Veronica Valenzuela said, “Dispatch, I think, is the number one role in the department. This is the brains and the heart of the department. This is where it all starts and it will actually affect the way the call will be handled and it will turn out in the end.”
Calexico Police Lieutenant Gonzalo Gerardo said, “Our dispatchers can be talking in Spanish to a person on the phone while they type in English.”
Miramon said dispatch is not for everyone.
“You have to know how to function, dealing with the radio, with the telephone, and at times you're dealing with three separate radio lines and the telephone lines, and they're all going off at the same time. It's stressful. It's high maintenance. But, I wouldn't change it for the world,” Miramon said.
Calexico Police made it clear that they believe all of their dispatchers are exceptional.