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Kentucky dispatchers prove family is just a call away

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Posted at 5:00 PM, Jul 13, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-13 17:00:21-04

FLOYD COUNTY, Ky. (LEX 18) — The 911 dispatchers who send police to calls are people too.

After the tragedy where three police officers and a K-9 were killed in Floyd County, dispatchers from all over Kentucky went to cover shifts to allow the 911 dispatchers in the county a chance to mourn and attend funerals.

Kevin Woosley, Jeannie Gwynne, and Laramie Scott have all dedicated service to answering emergency calls across Kentucky.

"We're one family," Woosley said. "I've got some life-long friends that I've met during this career and some that I will remain friends with forever."

Family -- often your emergency contact and who you can rely on in a pinch. When that Thursday night turned tragic in Floyd County, Woosley and Scott were just two of many who went to help.

"If that was my family over there in Floyd County, that was having a heart attack or had an accident and needed to call 911, I'd want somebody that answered the phone that knew what they were doing," Woosley said.

Gwynne is president of the Kentucky Emergency Number Association. She helped organize a signup to find dispatchers available to go to Floyd County. She says oftentimes dispatchers will help other agencies even in positive cases too, such as holiday parties or company photos.

"As soon as the signup sheet went out to our people, it was full in a matter of minutes," she said.

Dispatchers are used to that quick response. Phones will still be right. Emergencies will still require personnel. If something happens, their brothers and sisters are ready to step in.

"I have no doubt that if we needed them, there would be people here to help us too," said Scott, who works at Jessamine County 911.

Dispatchers have family and friends. They form tight-knit relationships with others in their field.

"They needed their time to mourn," Scott said. "It was a smaller community, they knew those guys first-hand. They shed tears because of their loss so for them to go and mourn, that was the reward for me just to be able to help them."

It's a reward knowing that family is just a call away.