The thin gold line

National telecommunicators week recognizes and appreciates the voices on the other end of an emergency.

Posted: Apr. 16, 2019 10:18 PM

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) -- We all know firefighters are known as the thin red line, and police officers are the thin blue line.
But right in between the two keeping them together is the thin gold line.

"We're the people behind the scene that coordinate to make everything happen to get everybody on the scene," Vickie Oster, Interim director for Vigo County 911 said. 

911 telecommunicators or dispatchers are the first voice you hear in an emergency.

"The first year or so it was really daunting. It was terrifying," Steven Roadruck, a 911 telecommunicator said. "After that wears off it's, you just do it. You kick into gear."

Roadruck said the job is hard, but knowing you're helping people makes it worthwhile.

"I was actually doing other desk work before this and I sat around all day and I kinda felt like it was monotonous and that I really wasn't contributing anything to society," he said. "I saw that this job was hiring and I thought oh perfect I can do something that actually means something."

The week of April 15th is national telecommunicators week.

It highlights everything dispatchers do because it's much more than just picking up a phone.

"We are here 24 hours a day 7 days a week so we are always here when we're needed," Oster said. "You know it's a job that requires a lot of personal sacrifices and we make that freely."

These workers deserve to be remembered and thanked for keeping lives safe.

"People don't remember us you know," Oster said. "We're just kind of the faces., the voices behind the scene." 

Vigo county 911 isn't just in charge of dispatching county first responders.

They also work with the city, different townships, and even Indiana state university.

Each dispatcher is also certified in many different things.

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