Behind the Scenes with Call Takers and Ambulance Dispatchers her in Kingston

Kingston, ON, Canada / CKWS TV

They serve as the first critical contact between the public and emergency responders.     We’re talking about the 911 dispatchers.     Next week is a time set aside to recognize the call takers and ambulance dispatchers in a job that’s often filled with stress.     Mike Postovit goes behind the scenes.

 

This is the Kingston Central Ambulance Communications Centre.     It’s here where the emergency services process begins.

(Sound bite…..)

Mark Halladay/Centre Director

“My call takers — they will do an average of up to a hundred different calls a day — per shift — in a 12 hour shift — so they really need to be able to focus — their tools are their voice and their quick thing.”

(Sound bite…..)

Anita Pearce/Ambulance Communications Officer

“You need to be able to stay calm — you need to be able to filter some of the emotion and the stress that you’re getting on the other side of the line.     There is a technical capacity as well.”

The centre services all of Southeastern Ontario.     From Trenton to Ottawa — an area of about 20 thousand square kilometres with a population of well over half a million people.

Halladay

“We sent an ambulance out last year just over 101 thousand times in our region — so yes it’s very busy for the staff here.

Busy — and also extremely fulfilling.

(Sound bite…..)

Pearce

“There are so many talented people who I work with — and they could excel at a million other things but they choose to be here because they want to serve — and they are motived to help other people.”

Mike Postovit, CKWS News, Kingston

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