Why did you join the control room?
I left college at the age of 19 and took a year out before applying for university. I decided to take the year out initially to get some more experience from volunteering which I did for the police already. I saw an application come out for the call centre and applied. I worked in the CCC for 10 months before joining the DCR in January 2017. I decided to join the control room as it was closer to home. At the time I wasn’t too keen on joining as I knew it would be a lot of pressure but a few months in, I thoroughly would say it is full of challenges but it a rewarding job. I have always had a passion from a young age to join the police so when I saw the CCC application, I decided to jump on the opportunity and put in an application.
Tell us what is like working in an emergency control room?
Working in the emergency control room can be very challenging but at the same time very rewarding. From when you come in to work on a daily basis, you can never know what to expect. Some days you have days which are quiet but other days you have constant radio traffic. The emergency control room is the control hub between the CCC taking the calls and officers attending the jobs. In and between, we have to liaise with the control room Inspector, CID, Safeguarding; which are a few of many departments, depending on which job requires which department. All in all, it can be non-stop but it is knowing that you are making a difference which keeps you motivated.
At the end of the day we are all human and do have emotions but there is relevant support in place from the supervisors.
What is the most rewarding part of your job?
The most rewarding part of working in the emergency control room has got to be that you are coming in to work and know you’re making a difference. Some days are very challenging when you have no units to attend jobs but you crack on to try and magic things out. Some of the jobs we deal with and hear over the radio are horrific but as people say ‘it isn’t a job for the faint hearted’. At the end of the day we are all human and do have emotions but there is relevant support in place from the supervisors. The rewarding part is coming in to work, knowing you’ve done your bit to help out the members of public asking for police assistance.
What makes your job challenging and how do you overcome this?
Like in every work place, there is always challenges that you have to deal with. In the emergency control room, one of the main challenges is when you can’t find a unit for a job and are struggling to find anyone anywhere else. This is when the force is pressured as a unit has to come free from dealing with something else. This is due to recent budget cuts in the police force. How we overcome this is with the support of the room supervisor who helps us find a unit for the ongoing jobs. Sometimes the challenges can come from the officers themselves and trying to negotiate with them or their Sergeants if they can come away from their current job to assist with outstanding jobs. This can also be challenging with all the new policies coming in place every few months.
What does International Control Room Week mean to you and the team?
The international control room week will mean a lot to the team and those work in the emergency services control room. Everyone who works in the emergency services control room has been faced with challenges on a daily basis and it is something that would make them feel appreciated with the recognition of International Control Room week. This shows the appreciation behind everyone else for those that work in the control rooms and how much of a challenge it can be, with more strain on the police than ever. This is due to the lack of resources to attend jobs and the other on going pressures. This has come at a great time for when we have moved to a new control room and have adapted to a new environment.