A Look Inside The Cleveland County 911 Dispatch Center
CLEVELAND COUNTY, Oklahoma - Behind every 911 call is a dispatcher on the other line, ready to relay crucial details to handle the emergency. This week, dispatch centers across the state opened their doors to give the public an inside look.
“A typical day, you just never know what's going to happen in here. It can be calm, like it kind of is right now, and it can go from that to just disastrous," said longtime dispatcher, Tammy Weis.
"911 can just start blowing up from children locked in a car to full blown domestics or stolen vehicles, you just never know what's going to come in when that phone rings."
At the Cleveland County Sheriff's Office, dispatchers assist in emergencies like a domestic over the weekend, where a deputy says he was stabbed in the face by 51-year-old Jimmy Quisenberry.
Our cameras were allowed inside sheriff's office communication center for an up-close look for the "Behind the Scenes at 911 Week."
"Dispatchers have a busy job here multitasking. They are checking for warrants to help our deputies confirm warrants. They are taking calls from the public and also listening to multiple radios," said Meghan McCormick of the Cleveland County Sheriff's Office.
There are at least two dispatchers per shift there in what used to be the county's election office.
"Oh yeah, it's changed a whole lot. We've really come up into the century from when I started back in 1988 with this agency. We were literally dispatching out of a closet,” Weis said.
With just one radio and pen and paper back then, both Weis and fellow dispatcher Caitlin Archey are thankful for the six computer screens, tracking technology and FBI databases available.
So the next time you call 911, and a dispatcher asks you a bunch of questions, keep in mind it's all to get help to you as soon as possible.
“Behind-the-Scenes-911 Week” ends Friday for any local official interested in a tour.