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Lawrence and Douglas County

Lawrence and Douglas county

How 911 works

Douglas County Communications Officer Melinda Hegeman, right, has helped create an interactive Web story on the Douglas County emergency dispatch center.

Douglas County Communications Officer Melinda Hegeman, right, has helped create an interactive Web story on the Douglas County emergency dispatch center.

May 21, 2007

<a href="http://www2.ljworld.com/how_911_works/">Launch the interactive feature</a>.

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Sit behind the controls of the dispatch center

How 911 works

Launch our interactive 911 feature

Emergency dispatchers are paid to stay calm in times of crisis and connect people with police and firefighters.

The job is so stressful that only one in four people who start training for the job makes it through.

"It's not what people expect from watching the movies and reading books," said Jim Denney, the county's director of emergency communications.

Journal-World reporter Eric Weslander created an interactive feature that gives the public an opportunity to see what it's like to sit behind the controls in the county's dispatch center. The feature, created with help from dispatcher Melinda Hegeman, presents a interactive virtual dispatcher's terminal with explanations of the maps, radios and other tools dispatchers use.

The goal of the story is to help people understand what dispatchers do and how they do it.

"What they're set up to do is to receive requests for assistance from the public, determine what kind of resource is needed to fulfill that request, and then dispatch that resource in a timely, efficient manner," Denney said.

Each day, the center takes about 122 emergency 911 calls and about 540 nonemergency calls.

Comments

RKLOG 7 years, 7 months ago

All this just to take some drunk guy laying in the grass to his home? I could never have the patience to be a policeman.

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