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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: Daniel Marr
Position: Shift Supervisor (Telecommunicator 3)
Years as a Public Safety Telecommunicator: 12 years
What made you want to become a public safety telecommunicator?
I wanted to help people and knew I wanted to be in law enforcement. I took a job as a 911 operator to get my foot in the door, and I fell in love with the job and discovered I was really good at it. So, from that point on I invested in my future and got as many certifications as I could.
What is your favorite part of the job?
Being the true first, first responder and helping someone. It could be a parent who found their child not breathing and I walk them through CPR and they are able to bring the baby back. It could be the person home alone and just heard someone break the glass in the basement, and I walk them through how to get away or where to hide. It could also be the man or woman who is in an abusive relationship and finally got the courage to call for help and I am able to help convince them that they need to follow through and end the abusive relationship.
What is a misconception about your job?
We do not just answer phones, we are not just secretaries. I walk people through CPR daily and know for a fact that I have saved more than one life every single shift.
What would you like the public to know about your job?
We are here 24/7/365, away from our families. We don’t get to leave our desks for many shifts except to run to the restroom. Only 1% of the population can do this job because of the level of multitasking, stress, and mental/emotional/physical exhaustion we face. However, I know the people in this room with me want to be here because we love it, we aren’t doing it for the pay! We are the calm voice on the phone saving you, we are the reassuring voice on the radio when the officer is fighting for his life. We hold it together for everyone else and hopefully one day we are recognized for it.