The Goldendale Sentinel - Headlines & History since 1879

By Jess Macinko
News Editor 

EMS heroes are multi-hat wearers


April 12, 2017

Jess Macinko

ON THE WATCH: Vicky Ramsay watches her screens during her dispatch shift.

It's Thursday afternoon, and the call center for the Klickitat County Department of Emergency Management (KCDEM) is deceptively "cricket cricket." So much so that Terri Leininger doesn't even want to use the word "quiet," for fear of jinxing the center's rare calm.

Leininger is a public safety telecommunicator (PST), more commonly known as a dispatcher-though the term is only partially correct in her case. At larger centers, the PST workload is divided between call-takers, who only answer the phones, and dispatchers, who only send out EMS responders. But as with many jobs in Goldendale, the PSTs here must wear multiple hats.

"It takes lots of teamwork," Leininger says. "It's hard to expla...

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