Allinder named 2014 Dispatcher of the Year
When Brooke Allinder answers the telephone, she rarely knows what is in store for her on the other end of the call.
“My job is to serve as an assurance for those I am talking to,” Allinder said. “Even though that phone call is part of my job, the situation that led someone to call could be life changing for them.”
Allinder, a 911 dispatcher with Chilton County E-911, was named the 2014 Dispatcher of the Year in December 2014.
Chilton County E-911 Director Dan Wright said based on feedback from citizens who made 911 calls throughout the year, and Allinder’s work performance, he thought she was the best candidate for the title.
“We don’t want the Dispatcher of the Year award to be just an award,” Wright said. “We want to give it to someone we feel like earns it.”
Wright started selecting individuals for the award in 2013, when Shelby Ellison was selected as the 2013 recipient.
“People would call and tell us about what a wonderful job the dispatcher did during the call, and when we started tracing who the dispatcher was, it came out to be Brooke,” Wright said. “She had a lot of positive feedback from the people she had been speaking to so we thought she made the best candidate for 2014.”
One of the most enjoyable parts of Allinder’s job is knowing she is a lifeline for the community.
“It is fulfilling for me to know that I am helping people,” Allinder said. “If I could sum up my job in one word I would say exciting. I am constantly talking to different people and dealing with different situations.”
Allinder, who has been a dispatcher for two years, said she often tries to keep the voice on the other end of the phone call calm until help is on the way.
“The main thing is to help that person who is calling understand that I am there to help them,” Allinder said. “People who call are sometimes in a state of chaos and think because you are spending the time talking to them on the phone that help is delayed. The most important thing to help them do is stay calm and let them know help is on the way.”
As many who call 911 are in a state of emergency with help needed quickly, Allinder said the job can often be filled with a range of emotions.
“You have to be prepared for anything at any time when you pick up that phone,” Allinder said. “For a 911 dispatcher, we rarely have closure on the calls we field, which is hard. You can be talking with someone as they are dealing with a situation, and you often don’t know how things ended up which can be hard.”
Allinder said she was honored to find out she had been selected as the 2014 Dispatcher of the Year.
“I am very blessed to be recognized for something that I put all of my energy in and have such a passion for,” Allinder said. “I am very, very grateful for this opportunity.”