The month of November is a month of giving thanks. In honor of our city departments we will be posting a thank you article each week to those that make Logan our home. Logan's dispatch officers are the voice on the other side of 911. They are the first response to every emergency in Cache Valley.
"Dispatchers save seconds and seconds save lives," said Shelley Peterson, 911 Communications Director. "We take that seriously and we want to make sure everything is handled right the first time."
Peterson is continuing the legacy of her dad and her grandpa who both served their community as deputy sheriff's. She said that growing up in law enforcement taught her the importance of being the first helping hand. She has been that helping hand for the past 20 years.
"We want to be here for people on the worst day of their lives," Peterson said. "There is always a need, we try to do what we can to make a difference."
Peterson and her team of dispatch officers are always prepared for the worst. They learn how to respond to calls involving serious injuries, death, suicide and missing children. They provide people with immediate emergency assistance no matter the time, or day. She said that regardless of the situation dispatch officers treat each call like it's their family on the other end.
"It's a job that can be absolutely boring and within a matter of seconds it can be the most important job that there is," said Police Chief Gary Jensen. "These ladies and men are the lifeline to a community in need."
Dispatch Officers work long shifts and typically work through the holidays. Peterson said that rotating shifts and missing out on things at home can be difficult, but the reward of being able to help someone through a crisis is worth it.
"There are always calls that are hard and stressful," Peterson said. "You'll walk out the door and think, I don’t ever want to do that again. But on the other hand, you want to be there, because you know how much they need it."
Peterson said that she has to remind herself to disconnect from work when she goes home to her family. She said the emotional stress is high and the job requires people with a thick skin.
"The importance of a dispatch service is quite frankly, irreplaceable," Chief Jensen said. "For me the great employees of the City of Logan are what make our community great and what make our department shine."
If you know a dispatch officer tell them how much you appreciate their service. Send them a note and thank them for being the first response. Because of them you can get immediate help in your worst moments and on your worst days. If you know someone you're grateful for, share with us on our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram using the hashtags, #thankadispatchofficer #LoganUnitedInService #givethanks .