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A look inside the Phoenix Fire alarm room during telecommunicators week

Taylor Beilmann (KTAR News photo/Ali Vetnar)

PHOENIX – This week marks National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week.

While they often go unseen, 911 dispatchers and public safety radio communicators in Phoenix are receiving recognition for their vital role in the community.

Dispatchers are the first line of communication when emergencies happen.

But their job doesn’t end after answering a 911 call as sometimes they will be the first to administer first aid, all while being on the phone.

“There’s a couple different calls I’ll probably never forget, but I was pretty new to the job and I had a young girl calling 911 because her mom was about to deliver a baby and they were driving on the freeway,” Taylor Beilmann, communicators supervisor, told KTAR News 92.3 FM on Monday.

Beilmann has worked inside the Phoenix Fire Department’s alarm room for the past nine years.

Growing up in a family of firefighters, Beilmann was 22-years-old when she became a 911 dispatcher. Two years ago, she was promoted to supervisor.

Now she manages roughly 20 911 dispatchers a shift. Her job is to ensure everything runs smoothly, efficiently and in the safest way possible for the city of Phoenix and those surrounding.

“Even though we work for the Phoenix Fire Department, we handle dispatch for 28 jurisdictions,” Beilmann said. “One of my main jobs is to just to ensure we have coverage in all of the areas. Like when a big call kicks out and it creates a hole – we move trucks.”

This is exactly what happened last summer during the devastating brush fires in Cave Creek.

“We spent hours working on that, moving fire trucks, people were in danger so that was a very memorable day for me and it was pretty chaotic,” Beilmann said.

The job of the Phoenix Fire Department’s alarm room does not stop with properly staffing and responding to emergencies. They also continue communication with those in the field.

Once the initial 911 call is sent to a fire station for response, another part of the dispatcher’s job is radio communication with crews in the field.

Firefighters will communicate to the alarm room when they are in need of additional fire support, an ambulance, or police if they are not already there.

The folks behind the scene working inside the alarm room secure anything and everything needed for those working on the front line.

In a true team effort, Beilmann describes her job as unlike any other career. But that’s what she loves most about it. Beilmann never knows what the day will bring and she gets to work beside her colleagues who are compassionate and dedicated to bringing safety and comfort to those who need it most.

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