SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska


KFD Dispatchers
By Dave Hull


April 16, 2009

I want to start off by saying that the Ketchikan Police Department and Alaska State Troopers dispatchers deserve all the accolades given them for the performance of their duties. In fact, they can't be given enough. I have been involved with emergency response for the last 34 years and have taken great comfort many times in the calm, warm voice coming out of my handheld radio speaker. Just knowing someone is there when I key the microphone is of great reassurance. I must object, however, that one group has been left out of the honors recently bestowed by the Borough Assembly. The group I am referring to is the dispatchers with the Ketchikan Fire Department. They are still there filling in when needed and doing an excellent job but were referred to as 'others' in the proclamation.

In the days before the move to centralized dispatch, the dispatchers at KFD did the dispatching for all the fire departments on the island on a 24/7 basis, except for the Pond Reef VFD. That changed in 2004 when NTVFD came on line. While the first person answering a 911 call was, and still is, the KPD dispatcher, once the determination was made that the call was either fire or EMS in nature, the call was immediately transferred to the KFD dispatchers.

During the move to centralized dispatching and the new dispatch center at KPD, KFD dispatchers were constantly needed to continue their dispatching duties deadline after deadline after deadline, and continue to dispatch today. They should not have been left out. I did notice a large bouquet of flowers sitting at the KFD dispatch center from the dispatchers at KPD and AST. That was a nice thing for them to do, recognizing their counterparts at KFD.

Again, my intent here is not to in any way draw away from the great work that KPD and AST dispatchers accomplish every day, or for that matter the great article that was written. I work with these people every day and their professionalism stands out with every contact. They save lives and keep us all safer. I just think that the dispatchers that still man their post at KFD should have been included in the proclamation. Quietly and professional, they continue to fill in when needed.

Thank you,

Dave Hull, Chief
North Tongass Volunteer Fire Department
Ketchikan, AK


Received April 16, 2009 - Published April 16, 2009


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