Recognizing the unseen messengers of public safety

CENTENNIAL, Colo.– Manning the phone lines 24/7 so that when you call, they’re there for you, the voice at the other end of the line when you’re facing an emergency, are the silent heroes of public safety.

“We do not work normal hours, we do not work normal shifts,” said Dispatch Supervisor for MetCom’s South Metro Station Chris Carnahan. “Sometimes I see these guys more than I see my own family.”

Sunday kicks off National Public Safety Telecommunications week. It’s a time to highlight the catalyst that helps you in times of need, although their work usually goes unseen.

“Every call is different,” Carnahan said. “The public will see ambulances, fire trucks and police cars out, this is something the general public doesn’t see or get to witness.”

Across the metro and Colorado, dispatch centers like South Metro’s are facing a shortage of workers. Though the calls and situations can be tense, dispatchers say the feeling of helping someone during their worst days or moments can be rewarding.

“It can be very stressful,” Carnahan said. “Your imagination runs a little different because you’re only hearing things.”

Between delivering babies or giving CPR instructions over the phone, they keep their composure because, on the other end of the line, someone’s life depends on it.

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