What It’s Like to Be a 911 Operator

In Short: Frustrating and rewarding.

David Martin
Jun 29 · 3 min read
Four dispatch consoles in a cluster.
It’s not at all unusual for each position to have six computer monitors (or more!) to watch, plus multiple phonelines, and multiple radio channels in their headsets. (Photo: David Martin)

You don’t want to call 911 but you have to. The first voice you hear is the 911 operator who asks you what the location of your emergency is. But you are freaking out and start yelling and screaming that you need help now. The fastest way to get help is to listen, give quick answers to our questions, and don’t hang up until we tell you.