District Council 57

Thank You Emergency Dispatchers for Keeping Our Communities Safe

For as long as Dorothy Cordell has been an emergency dispatcher, one thing has always remained true: no matter the situation, she knows how to look on the bright side.

The next call is always unpredictable and could be a major emergency. But when providing emergency services is a labor of love like it is for Cordell, who has worked for San Mateo County for over 15 years, each call is an opportunity to serve her community.

Emergency dispatchers have some of the toughest public safety jobs because they are truly on the front lines of police and fire services and they make critical life-saving decisions for people in need of help—all over the phone.

That’s why for National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week, where we celebrate emergency dispatchers, we want to recognize Cordell, a member of AFSCME Local 829, and all the emergency dispatchers in our union.

Cordell is a good example of how important AFSCME members are to the safety of our communities because, according to her coworkers, she is always striving to do the best she can for the people of San Mateo County and the cops whom she assists on the street.

It’s no surprise that Cordell was named Dispatcher of the Year for San Mateo County.

What makes her find a way to smile at the end of a long shift?

“I enjoy this job because of the camaraderie during tough calls,” she said. “I believe dispatchers bond because of the ups and downs of the day. As they say, it's like 10 hours of calm and 15 minutes of terror. At the end of the day, I hope I made a difference to someone who has called for help.” 

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