Dispatcher speaks during National Telecommunicator Recognition w - KSWO, Lawton, OK- Wichita Falls, TX: News, Weather, Sports. ABC, 24/7, Telemundo -

Dispatcher speaks during National Telecommunicator Recognition week

(Source: KSWO) (Source: KSWO)

LAWTON, OK (KSWO) - To bring 911 dispatchers out of the shadows, the week of April 9th is National Telecommunicator Recognition week. 

Christy Santiago has been working as a dispatcher for six years. She said one of the calls that sticks with her the most was a late-night police chase that started in Cache and came to Lawton.

"We have multiple people here that are dispatching so it just kinda jumped from ‘okay this person has a pursuit’ to ‘okay it's coming my way,'" she said.

Santiago had to let Lawton police that the chase was headed their way and kept in contact with them during the entire pursuit.

"It's you and that officer on the radio,” Santiago said.” There is nobody else talking and so you have to keep track of them and they tell you what they're doing and where they're at. It's a constant update and you need to be focused on that."

The chase ended off Gore Blvd.

"That pursuit was a very long pursuit and you know, it didn't end very well for the person involved," she said.

After the pursuit ended, the suspect was shot during a confrontation with police.

Santiago said in a major incident like that, everyone focuses on the chase and the aftermath and the dispatchers are forgotten.

"I think the hardest part is having people understand what we do in here,” Santiago said. “I think they have a misconception that we're just sitting at a phone answering a call. They don't realize that we have radios."

Once emergency officials arrive on the scene the dispatcher is no longer in contact with the caller and Santiago said they may never know what happened.

"After that, you're just like okay it happened and let's just move on and go on to the next one pretty much,” Santiago said. "You don't really get that scene of closure like right at that moment you may get it later and you may never get it."

While it can be a stressful job where the situations stay with them Santiago said it's something she's passionate about.

"It's definitely the hardest job I've ever loved," she said.

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