Birmingham 911 dispatchers talk stress

Top Story

BIRMINGHAM, Ala., (WIAT) — Every year, Birmingham’s 911 system receives about 836,000 calls a year, and emergency dispatchers are the very first responders. They translate a caller’s situation into actionable instructions so police, fire, or medical teams can respond as quickly as possible.

It’s an incredibly demanding job, with some shifts lasting up to 16 hours. That’s a lot of time spent listening to terrified callers in their most desperate moments, and it takes a certain kind of person to survive the stress.

“To say that 911 doesn’t come with its stress that would be a blatant lie,” says dispatcher Michael Knight. Knight says in high-stress situations dispatchers are trained to use persistent repetition where they say the same thing, in the same manner with a calm voice.

All of this after Birmingham has been dealing with shootings, accidents and other emergencies last week.

If you’re interested in becoming a 911 Dispatcher, you can apply by clicking here.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Trending Stories

CBS 42 Community Events

More CBS 42 Community Events