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Cook County Connections: Dispatcher Dilemma: Who Are You Going To Call?

Feb 24, 2023 08:47AM ● By Content Editor
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From the Cook County Sherriff's Office - February 24, 2023

By: Lindsay Mielke, Lead Dispatcher

I’m back folks!  Lindsay Mielke here with the Cook County Sheriff’s Office, Lead Dispatcher at our PSAP (Public Safety Answering Point). Another year has come and gone and the outlook for our profession is still at a critical need across the Country. It has been interesting having this conversation with my counterparts across Minnesota. We are all worried on what this will mean for our future and for YOUR future when you need us at your darkest moment.

I don’t want to sound negative or throw out doomsday propaganda, but our Country is starting to get itself into a pickle. Across the board, Public Safety partners are needed now more than ever. Many of us are starting to think we are becoming an endangered species out there on the front lines. That’s probably the best analogy that I can think of for the public to understand that this is a serious issue. So again, I ask all of you, who is going to answer your 911 call? Who is going to put out the fire on your home? Who is going to continue CPR and get you to the hospital? Who is going to investigate crimes against your family or property? Who, who, who? I’m starting to sound like an owl in the dark of night and no one is out there to respond to my cries. It’s true though, we live comfortably and take our emergency service personnel for granted. That is, until the emergency is our own and then the pointing of fingers, the hate and the new laws come out because we didn’t respond fast enough or didn’t respond at all. But we couldn’t, our numbers are minimal, and our remaining staff is tired. Tired of being overworked, tired of wearing multiple hats, tired of lack of support and the list goes on. But you know what? The ones that are still here and continue to show up every day and even the newest ones that want to make a difference and ignore the media’s need to fuel a hateful fire, show up for every shift because they know we are needed and want to help this world be a better place for their families and for their own community, one small step at a time.

I encourage a lot of you to think about volunteering in a public safety field in your own communities to help your neighbors. Whether it is joining a fire department or getting your EMT license and joining a first responders group or the ambulance. Encourage the youth in your life that they can make a difference in a public safety career and that not all cops are bad. There are boundless opportunities in law enforcement and 911 telecommunications professions and they are rewarding careers! Be the difference! If you are interested or know someone that is interested in a career as a Public Safety Telecommunicator, contact me at [email protected]! Another way to find out if this is the path you want to take is to do a sit-along with one of the dispatchers and find out how rewarding this career can be! Take care and until next time, stay safe out there!

County Connections is a column on timely topics and service information from your Cook County government. Cook County – Supporting Community Through Quality Public Service.

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