This special feature highlights individual NENA Members from various backgrounds, industry segments, experience and geographic locations. It offers members an opportunity to share their story with their colleagues and the greater NENA community.Click here to email NENA Member Services Director Bri Robinson if we should feature you or someone you know.
NENA: Tell us a little bit about who you are, where you’re from, what you do, and your history with NENA….
Blake Govan: My name is Blake Govan and I have
been a Police Dispatcher for Wayne State University Police Department in
Detroit, Michigan, for 4 years. I have also been a member of NENA for 4 years
and this year was a first time attendee at 9-1-1 Goes to Washington in February
and the national NENA conference in June.
NENA: What does 9-1-1 mean to you?
BG: When a crisis happens, the first
three telephone digits that pops into my head is 9-1-1. When I dial those three
digits, I know that a professionally trained individual who answers on the
other end of the phone line is going to send help to me. When you call 9-1-1, you
are not having a good day. 9-1-1 is a
lifeline that will be there for you no matter what the circumstances are.
NENA: Why did you choose a career in public safety?
BG: My uncle gave me one of his old
police scanners and from the day I started listening to it, I became addicted.
My curiosity arose after listening to police and fire calls being dispatched
day in and day out. I reached out to my local 9-1-1 Center and arranged for a
sit-along with the dispatchers to gain more of an insight on what the job
entails. From then on, I set my sights on becoming a 9-1-1 Dispatcher. I
furthered my education by attending a 9-1-1 Dispatch Academy and obtained
certifications to help with securing a dispatch position.
NENA: What do you like best about your job?
BG: The best part of the job is that
no day is the same. Everyday is an adventure. Being a dispatcher, you have to
expect the unexpected. You never know what the next phone will be or if an
officer calls out over the radio in distress. I like the adrenaline rushes that
can happen when stuff hits the fan and also when you can make a difference in
someone’s life. Typically when someone calls 9-1-1, they are not having a good
day. However, you have the ability to at least comfort them until help arrives
on the scene and rendered pre arrival instructions.
NENA: Is there a particular event or call that you are particularly proud of?
BG: I received a call from the suicidal
crisis hotline stating that there was an individual on the freeway overpass
bridge attempting to commit suicide by jumping into oncoming traffic. I was
able to secure an exact location and keep the citizen on the phone until
officers arrived to safely apprehend the individual. Furthermore, neither the
officers nor the citizen suffered harm.
NENA: If you could convey one message to the public about 9-1-1 or being a 9-1-1 professional, what would it be?
BG: The day that you have to call 9-1-1,
rest assure that the individual who answers the phone is a trained emergency
services professional who will ask a series of questions to determine the
appropriate amount of emergency responders (police, fire, ems) to be
dispatched. These questions are necessary to make the best decision to approach
the situation and what equipment the emergency responders take with them.