Cool, calm, copasetic

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, January 2, 2007

GREENSBORO – Everyone knows to call 911 in case of emergency.

However, Greensboro police chief Claude Hamilton reminds callers to be as calm as possible when reporting an injury, illness, or emergency incident.

“I like to call dispatchers our silent heroes. They are the heart of our operations. They take the information and relay it to us so we can be prepared to handle the situation we are going into,” Hamilton said, “But a lot of people don’t understand what they go through and the abuse they have to take. We want our citizens to realize how difficult their job is. They don’t go out and respond to the problem, their job is to decipher the information the caller gives them and relay it to us. So don’t scream at them, be as calm as possible.”

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The dispatcher must be able to collect enough specific details from the caller so the police, deputies and emergency response vehicles will have enough information to be adequately prepared for the situation at hand.

According to Hamilton, the dispatchers are a valuable part of the emergency response force and should be paid more for their time coping with the stress and hysterics of getting urgent calls.

“If it weren’t for them we wouldn’t know what we were getting into,” Hamilton said. “They don’t make a lot of money and honestly I think they need to be paid more for their jobs. I support any increase in salary for our dispatchers.”