Dispatchers recognized for their hard work
RICHLAND, Wash. — Tracey Ollerman has been a dispatcher with Benton County for 18 years.
To her, it’s not just a job, but a responsibility to help people during their scariest moments.
“We just work a lot on emotions trying to get them to calm down,” said Ollerman.
When Ollerman gets a call, her job is to figure out where the caller is, what’s going on and other details she needs for first responders.
Dispatchers,hidden heroes taking on all kinds of roles.
“We just recently had a dispatcher deliver a baby over the phone,” said Ollerman.
However, the job can also be hard.
Ollerman remembers her first year with the Southeast Communications Center, when Washington State Patrol Trooper James Saunders was shot and killed in Pasco during a traffic stop in 1999.
“The intensity of trying to find out who did this,” she said,” the responders that night were very wound up, you know, obviously because they had lost one of their own.”
On the job Ollerman know they serve an important purpose.
“Being able to help people through their crisis,” she said,” it’s important that we are there for them, that we are able to take the time with the caller until responders get there.”
On Tuesday night, one of Ollerman’s colleagues was recognized by the community.
Aimee Fournier-Plante, a 911 dispatcher was awarded as 2016’s “Dispatcher of the Year” for the SECOMM in Benton County.
She was selected for her skill, knowledge, attendance, behavior, integrity and excellence, going above and beyond to train new employees.