INDIANAPOLIS — Do you have what it takes to be a first responder?
This week is National Telecommunicator Week, so WRTV is taking a behind-the-scenes look at what it takes to be a 911 operator.
Hancock County is growing rapidly, which in turn could mean more emergencies.
The 911 department is trying to stay ahead of the curve and grow with the county. To accomplish this, they are looking to hire a few more telecommunicators.
The folks behind these screens on the other end of 9-1-1 are your lifeline in an emergency.
Alyssa Eichholtz has been a telecommunicator at the Hancock County 911 Department for three years.
“I didn't have any background, but the opportunity presented itself and I took it and I fell in love with it,” Eichholtz said.
Eichholtz said, even without experience, through the training provided, she felt confident from her first phone call.
“You're doing a job if that makes any sense like you're doing what you're supposed to be doing and that's what kind of takes the edge off,” said Eichholtz.
To be a 911 telecommunicator you need a high school education and a calm but strong personality.
“It's a very fulfilling job," Eichholtz said. "Every day is different. You get to be a part of your community. You really get to have a deeper understanding of public safety and public service. If you have any interest in serving your community, doing something not for yourself alone and really just like helping other people it's a great job to get into."
Like many 911 centers, the Hancock County 911 Department is hiring right now. The starting pay is between $40-$48,000. No special education or training is required.