Public Safety Training Coordinator & TAC Officer - Mercer County, WV 911
Julie is the 911 Training Coordinator and WV TAC Officer for the Mercer County Communications E911 Center in Princeton, West Virginia. Julie started her career at 911 in 1995, at the age of 22 years old, and worked her way up the ranks beginning in data entry, part-time Dispatcher, Full-time Dispatcher, Dispatch Shift Supervisor to now the 911 Center’s Training Coordinator. She was presented in 2011 with West Virginia Enhanced 911 Council Telecommunicator of the Year Award. She is also a certified CIT (Crisis Intervention Team) officer, in the Southwestern Virginia territory, working on WV’s first 911 direct contact with Mobile Crisis units in the State.
With a wealth of experience as a 911 dispatcher of 28 years, she has had the privilege of witnessing the evolution of dispatcher training firsthand. Over the years, she has emphasized that dispatch centers recognize the need for not only comprehensive training programs that adequately prepare dispatchers for the mental and emotional challenges they may encounter on the job. This recognition has led her to shift her training program from minimal training to intensive instruction that addresses both technical skills and the crucial aspect of self-care.
Julie believes as critical as training is to a dispatcher's success, there is another vital aspect that often goes overlooked: self-care. Julie grew up in Athens, WV in a law enforcement family and witnessed firsthand how the stress of the job affected her own family, as a child. Her father, a WV State Trooper experienced many traumatic incidents that not only affected him but his entire family. In fact, she herself was diagnosed with PTSD in 2016, from the very nature of being exposed to traumatic and highly emotional situations on a daily basis, as a 911 Dispatcher. To balance her work life and private life, Julie loves spending time with her husband Jim, her son Nathan and their Corgi Capt. Jack Sparrow camping and spending time on the lake. Self-care comes in all forms; she prefers hers being out in nature.
With her own personal history as a child and as an adult, Julie believes that it is imperative that dispatchers are equipped with coping mechanisms to prevent burnout and maintain their mental well-being. This is why Julie’s training program includes sessions on stress management, self-awareness, and providing resources for mental health support. By fostering an environment that encourages self-care, Julie believes that dispatchers can continue to provide the quality assistance that our communities rely on.
3:00 pm - 3:50 pm
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