While most are at home spending the holiday with their family, the demanding job of dispatchers at the Acadian Ambulance Communications Center means no time off, not even on Christmas.
The center operates 24-hours a day and on holidays. Dispatchers have to show up to work focused, never knowing what emergency is waiting on the other line.
Angie Vidrine, a dispatcher, says, “Sometimes you have a child that’s having a seizure and they’re not breathing but you still have to remain calm because they’re dependent on you to help them until the paramedics get on scene.
Angie Vidrine has been working as a dispatcher for many years and she says the job can have its ups and downs, but the reward of helping others is why she loves coming to work every day.
She says, “I was taking a call and the lady was really upset. So, I stayed on the phone with her until the medics got on scene. When I heard them taking to her, I said ‘Ok, I can let you go now.’ She was just very grateful that I had stayed on the phone. Thats why I do what I do.
All dispatchers are medics and EMD certified and their non-stop effort and quick reaction time saves lives every day. On average the call center receives anywhere from a thousand to ten thousand calls a day. Once a call is received a dispatcher will work on getting an ambulance to that location while the other dispatcher will give self-help to the caller.
Even though Christmas means just another day of hard work, employees still take time to celebrate the holiday by buying an office Christmas tree and everyone dressed in tacky Christmas sweaters.
Every year Acadian Ambulance dispatchers give the gift of their service to the community in case of an emergency.