National Telecommunicator Week honors life-saving voices of 911

By: Amy Lipman Email
By: Amy Lipman Email

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. For Andee Nessler, staying calm and informative in the face of emergencies as a 911 dispatcher is a challenge she willingly accepts every day.

"It takes a strong person and once you do fall into it, it's hard to leave," said Nessler, who works at the Grand Junction Regional Communication Center. "You kind of get the bug."

Nessler has been dispatching for seven and a half years, but no two days are alike.

"Every incident will be different, so you have to be prepared," she said. "You never know what's on the other end of the line."

The Grand Junction Regional Communication Center's 37-person staff act as the link between the community and first responders 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

"We have people who are really dedicated to this job and what they do and serving the community," said Monica Million, the center's operations manager. "It's that caring. It's that compassion. It's that dedication. That's what makes them as good as they are."

Local dispatchers, like Nessler, even travel across Colorado with the Grand Junction Incident Dispatch Team to help out during emergency situations like floods and fires on the Front Range.

"We're there to help the people and give everybody else a break because those dispatchers are having the same problem with flooding and they need a break," Nessler said.

GJRCC dispatchers fielded more than 135,000 calls in 2013 and were responsible for more than 2 million radio transmissions to first responders.

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