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Emergency dispatchers received 422,000 calls last year

During the February freeze, 16,000 calls in three days asking for help on issues that were beyond their control.
Published: Apr. 16, 2021 at 4:25 PM CDT
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LAREDO, Tex. (KGNS) - As National Public Safety Telecommunications Week wraps up, it’s time to thank those unseen faces who play a vital role in connecting us to first responders.

Calls ranging from pregnant mothers who are unable to get to the hospital on time to a person simply having a noise complaint over loud music, 911 operators are the first to pickup during our most desperate moments.

It all begins with the people you don’t see out in public.

As a first responder, Joe Baeza appreciates those part of the dispatch team.

“They’ve saved our lives as well out on the field.”

Baeza says despite a pandemic, there wasn’t much room to breath.

“In 2020, they received 422,000 calls for service, 283 non emergency calls, and 138,000 emergency calls.”

During the February freeze, 16,000 calls in three days asking for help on issues that were beyond their control.

“People were calling us, asking us why we didn’t turn on the lights.”

The dispatch team themselves were undergoing the same experiences.

“They were without light or power, didn’t have any access to utilities, their water was also affected.”

Baeza says although COVID cases are low now, that does not apply to the volume of calls due to the loosening of restrictions.

“People are doing their own thing now, they’re not quarantined in their home, a lot more activity.”

Despite the frustration in callers, Baeza says a 911 operators commitment to save a life stays strong.

You can now text 911 operators for help.

Baeza says since the launch of this new method, in 2020 alone, over 900 texts have been sent to first responders.

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