Dottie Rose Lurie’s parents and all of her aunts, uncles, and cousins, work for the city or county in some capacity.
“I come from a family of postal carriers, firemen, police officers, EMS, public defenders, council members, and school teachers,” says Ms. Lurie.
She is the first 911 dispatcher of the family, a position she has held for five years.
“I studied psychology in school, which has come in handy since people are not exactly at their best when they call 911,” she explains.
Prank calls to 911 are still popular, but on any given day there are 6-9 people taking nearly 400 calls.
“Domestic violence and assaults are everyday events in my line of work, as are carjackings and car accidents,” reports Ms. Lurie.
The trick is to remain cool, calm, and collected.
And what about the myth of talking an expectant mother through the delivery of her baby?
“I haven’t had to do it yet, but we have about three of those calls a year usually from someone who has waited too long to go to the hospital or they are en route there,” she recalls.
The biggest problem, however, is “butt-dialing”.
“It’s a huge resource drain to track down the butt dialers, but every call into 911 has to be answered so we follow up with each one of them. Usually the person at the other end denies even calling but it’s like, yeah you did,” Ms. Lurie rolls her eyes.
Ms. Lurie enjoys hanging out with her friends like most people her age. She is also participates in a walking book group.
“Instead of sitting around someone’s stuffy living room, we meet in the park or on a nature trail to walk and discuss a book we just read. It also saves us the trouble of having to host each other in our homes, which is always a little nerve wracking for me,” says the 911 dispatcher, who is soon to move up the ladder to training staff.