Rotary Club learns about 911 dispatchers

Published 12:36 pm Friday, February 24, 2023

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The local Greenville Rotary Club  received a special treat at their Feb. 16 luncheon, hearing from guest speakers Teeia Cheatham, Butler County 911 Director, and Tanya Kemp, the group’s assistant director.

Greenville Police Chief, Justin Lovvorn, introduced the to the Rotary Club members.

Cheatham, who has been with the 911 dispatch office for 17 years, and Kemp, an eight-year veteran of the department, provided the audience with information about ins and outs of the county’s emergency medical dispatching system.

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“This was the first time I’ve spoken at the Rotary Club luncheon,” said Cheatham.

Cheatham explained that when she first started with 911, she was a dispatcher and received training on how to perform the job.

“We do inhouse training for 320 hours,” Cheatham said. “It usually takes about three months.”

After that, Cheatham said, dispatchers complete a certification course with the FBI.

“Then, there’s an online class and a telecommunication class,” Cheatham said. “The Fire Department teaches us CPR.”

The two speakers described in great detail the role dispatchers play in the process of helping the community during emergencies, said Tracy Salter, the Executive Director of the Greenville Area Chamber of Commerce.

“They discussed the system’s evolution over the years and how the department has made tremendous progress in updating equipment and technology,” Salter said.

According to Salter,  the speakers discussed how the dispatchers build relationships with neighboring agencies, and also how they build relationships of trust with the community.

“Butler County’s 911 dispatchers and staff are often the first point of contact in emergency situations,” Salter said. “[They] provide critical services to the public and first responders in the field 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.”