Police dispatchers honored for workSubmitted: 04/15/2014

Kaitlyn Howe

RHINELANDER - Police dispatchers don't know what the day will look like when they get to work.

Oneida County dispatchers respond to everything from downed power lines, fires and domestic disputes.

Dispatchers from around the country are being honored this week. National Public Safety Telecommunicators week is being held April 13-19.

"It just depends on what comes in. You know some days can start out pretty mellow. And just like that, it can be all chaos," says Oneida County dispatcher Mary Goeldner.

Goeldner has been a dispatcher for 18 years.

"Sometimes it's real difficult. Sometimes you just have to keep repeating yourself and telling them that you know I need you to calm down because I want to help you but you've got to help me' If we don't know what's going on, we don't know where it's happening we can't send help," says Goeldner.

Goeldner enjoys her job because she feels she can help those who need it.

"The calls where you really feel like you help somebody," says Goeldner.

The weather can play a big factor in the types of calls that come in.

"This time of year when we get unexpected snow or the roads are bad, we'll get a lot of vehicles in the ditch. Summertime when we have storms come through we get a lot of power lines down, trees down, that type of thing," says Goeldner.

Oneida County dispatchers get calls for Rhinelander and Three Lakes police departments too.

But calls aren't the only thing that dispatchers are responsible for.

They also process warrants and restraining orders.

"When they're cancelled we have to make sure they get cancelled out of the national system and the state system so that someone isn't arrested and they shouldn't be," says Goeldner.

Helping people in tough situations makes the hard work worth it.

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