Only on FOX5: City of Las Vegas fire call center works tirelessly to keep the community safe
LAS VEGAS, Nev. (FOX5) - The City of Las Vegas fire dispatch center is the only regional combined communication center in the valley servicing Clark County, North Las Vegas, the City of Las Vegas, Moapa and Mount Charleston. From house fires to fires on the strip to medical calls, the dispatch center is responding to it all.
One call at a time, our fire dispatchers are always busy responding to 911 calls.
“These people here in the communications center are the first responders,” said assistant fire chief Ashanti Gray.
“I really enjoy doing what I do and sending help to the public,” said communication specialist and training officer Aubrey Underwood.
From working at a limousine company to now serving as a fire dispatcher, Underwood has been picking up the phone and sending out resources to those in need for most of her life.
“It kind of just fell into my lap and ever since that first day, I knew I was meant to do this,” said Underwood.
The center receives over 1,000 calls a day—70 to 100 calls per person—and 10,000-12,000 calls weekly.
“A majority of our callers are not calm,” said Gray. “They are frantic. So, to be able to get a complete stranger to hear your voice and listen and to provide you with what you need during a terrible time is actually a true skill.”
Underwood said that remaining composed and detached is the most challenging part of the job.
“I just listen, remind myself to breathe, take deep breaths, and listen to everything they are telling me and relay that to the units that are responding,” said Underwood.
“Our call takers are able to take frantic callers and get them to have enough information to actually provide CPR until our first responders are able to get there and take over,” said Gray.
Underwood shared her most memorable call.
“I did help a lady deliver her own baby in her car by herself,” said Underwood.
Gray said the call center is busiest on holidays and is already preparing for big upcoming events like the Las Vegas Grand Prix and the Super Bowl.
Gray also said this is the first time in a long time that the call center is fully staffed with 59 communication specialists. But even with six supervisors and a recently hired group of 12 dispatchers, the center is always in need of more employees due to quick turnover, with people either relocating or retiring.
To apply to become a communication specialist for the City of Las Vegas fire department, click HERE.
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