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Employee Spotlight: National Public Safety Telecommunications Week - Stephanie Austin

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: Stephanie Austin

Position: Telecommunicator

Years as a Public Safety Telecommunicator: 1 year  Fire/Ems side.

What made you want to become a Public Safety Telecommunicator? I have always wanted to help people. I worked at the Detention Facility for 10 years before switching to this job. I like being able to talk people through some pretty difficult situations until additional help can arrive.

What is your favorite part of the job?
Talking to all kinds of different people from all walks of life. Also, the individuals I get to work with every day are amazing and make the job a lot easier to handle.

What is a misconception of your job?
I would say it's that we're just dispatchers or just taking calls when in reality we're doing both (and much more) and it can be a lot sometimes. Keeping up with all the people you have out on calls and making sure they are safe while also taking 911 calls and making sure you are doing your best to keep them calm is sometimes mentally exhausting.

What would you like the public to know about your job?
This job is difficult and it takes a special person to do this job. Also, We can't always "ping" your address, so it's important to give us as much information as clearly as possible so we can get help started ASAP.


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Updated Apr 18, 2023 12:43 PM
Published Apr 14, 2023 10:00 AM