GIBSON COUNTY, Ind. (WEHT) It’s National Public Safety Telecommunication Week. In Gibson County, commissioners signed a proclamation to honor their 911 operators, including one dispatcher who has served for 32 years.
“We dispatch fire, police, and EMS, we dispatch 911 calls… we do a little bit of everything,” says Becky Beadles, one of the telecommunication officers.
Beadles has answered 911 calls for over three decades and grew up in Hazelton, Indiana. When her town flooded when she was a teenager, she knew she wanted to be a dispatcher.
“They set up a command center at the community center. I helped out there and it stuck with me,” she says.
Through the years, Beadles has answered thousands of calls, many of them in Gibson County. Out of all of those calls, she says one call stayed with her. On February 18, 2005, a Haubstadt Police Officer and his son were hit by a train.
“It was third shift and the officer had his son with him and they got hit by a train. The basement was leaking and flooding, it was just total chaos here,” she says.
So far this year, Beadles and her coworkers have answered over 4,000 calls, which officials say is normal.
“Sometimes there are 1 or 2 people on duty, and that is really a lot for those people do deal with, ” says George Ballard, the Gibson County Chief Sheriff Deputy.
Right now, the dispatchers work in a small room at the Sheriff’s Office. But later this spring, they will have a new dispatch center in the new jail.
“It is going to have a window, we are excited to have a window to see outside,” says Beadles.
“They do a great job. They are the kind of people that you don’t see in the limelight…but the first person you talk to when something bad is going on is a telecommunications officer,” says Ballard.
To celebrate Beadles and her fellow dispatchers, the Gibson County Sheriff’s Office is celebrating with a luncheon on Thursday.