Thursday, 13 May 2021 - 8:55am

People of Police: Tamsyn - Dispatcher, Emergency Communications Centre

2 min read

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People of Police graphic - Tamsyn

Inspired by the Humans of New York photoblog, we’re showcasing some of the incredible stories and experience of people throughout our organisation.

Tamsyn - Dispatcher, Emergency Communications Centre

"In 2018, I was involved in a serious car accident on SH 1 at Manakau. The responding police staff inspired me to want to help others in the way they did for me that night.

"I had already been studying Criminology at Victoria University at that time, so moving into dispatching seemed a natural progression in this field. Before that, I had taken a break year working in a hairdressing salon and loved working with people.

"Looking back, I couldn’t have come from a more contrasting career path.

"Dispatchers receive the events that communicators input and then triage and action them appropriately. A dispatcher organises what the response will be for each event in their district and maintains command and control of it until the incident is resolved. 

"Dispatchers similarly manage all critical incidents, acting as the vital link between the members of the public and the police officers on the street by using the information communicators pass on to ensure the appropriate staff and agencies are responding. Critical incidents can range from water rescues to serious or fatal crashes, through to firearms offences.

"Part of my role is the welfare of staff on duty. To ensure this happens, while they are busy dealing with events and have not updated me, I do radio and phone checks with them. This happens with all the staff on my screen throughout the shift.

"Another aspect of staff safety is keeping them updated with the information that comes to hand or relevant checks on the people, vehicles, or places they are dealing with. I give them this information where possible to help them make informed and safe decisions. This helps keep the public as safe as possible while ensuring our staff also come home to their families at the end of their shift.

"One incident that stands out for me occurred during my first year dispatching. On Christmas night, we received a call about a single car collision in a rural area. The vehicle had been speeding and the road was wet, causing the vehicle to lose traction before finally going through a fence. The driver was badly injured and trapped in the vehicle.

"Despite it being a busy night, I sent multiple police officers to the scene to help the driver, while also organising attendance by our Serious Crash Unit and other emergency services, such as Fire and Ambulance. Due to the nature of the location and injuries of the driver, a helicopter was sent with ambulance staff on board.

"In the pitch black, we managed to locate a safe landing zone for the helicopter that wasn’t hindered by power lines. The driver was extracted from the vehicle and flown to hospital. I was proud to know my actions contributed to the driver getting lifesaving medical attention as soon as possible.

"Having been in a serious crash myself, I can empathise with how the driver would have been feeling, and how reassuring it is having emergency services there to help."


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