This news item expired on Wednesday, May 31, 2023 so the information below could be outdated or incorrect.
National Public Safety Telecommunications Week is April 9-15, and Buncombe County is celebrating by profiling some of our 911 dispatch team. The demands of Public Safety Telecommunications make it a challenging and rewarding job. Being the first, first responder takes a special type of person, and Buncombe County is proud to highlight some of our amazing 911 staff in their own words. Thanks to all our Public Safety Telecommunicators for your dedication to helping keep our community safe.
Interested in joining the County’s Public Safety Telecommunications Team? Click here for more information.
Name: Amayrani Padilla-Cortes
Position: Public Safety Communications APD Baker/Charlie Supervisor
Years as a Telecommunicator: 6 years 9 months
What made you want to become a Public Safety Telecommunicator?
I wanted to give back to my community and help those in need. I speak two languages and felt the need to also help our Hispanic community.
What is your favorite part of the job?
My favorite part of the day is being able to help people on what could possibly be the worst day of their life and be their first point of contact during that time. Being there to comfort a child or parent after losing their loved one. In other instances, being able to send help to someone who thought about ending their life. Making a difference in someone's life is the most rewarding job.
What is a misconception of your job?
The biggest misconception about our job is that Telecommunicators only answer 911 calls. Telecommunicators handle 911 calls, admin line calls, and multiple radio channels simultaneously.
What would you like the public to know about your job?
Telecommunicators are the connecting bridge between callers and first responders. Any questions we ask are to determine what resources are needed. Telecommunicators have to make split-second decisions to prioritize calls. We are doing our best to multitask to ensure that every call gets handled based on priority. Telecommunicators never know what the next call or radio transmission is going to bring such as gun discharges, fights, vehicle accidents, domestic violence, or robberies. The excitement never ends in this profession, there is always something new. It is unexplainable the incredible feeling of accomplishment knowing that we did our best to save someone's life.
I started as a call taker with the city of Asheville and had no experience in this job field. After four years, I was able to become a U.S. Citizen and then to become a Telecommunicator. Buncombe County allowed me to further my career and became a supervisor. I would like the community to know that Buncombe County offers training for this job from day one. If you have the desire to help others and would like to give back to your very own community, this is the best job. More than just a job, be prepared to gain one big family. Our family is composed of coworkers, officers, paramedics, and firefighters. It is amazing to see how everyone works together for one common goal.