FORT HOOD, Texas — None of us want to call 911 but we’re happy they are there to answer the phone and it’s the same for the thousands of people who work and live on Fort Hood.
The difference is it takes place on a massive military installation.
”Behind the scenes, there is a lot of stuff that is different but what the public sees is seamless,” said Jennifer Rounds, deputy chief of police on Fort Hood. “They get the same response regardless of the uniform.”
Each call starts in the same place, a 911 dispatcher located on the post.
”The major difference is the military factor,” said Bobby Virgen-Sims, dispatch supervisor on Fort Hood. “We have post regulations that we have to follow. We have different things that are set in addition to laws that we have to follow.”
Fort Hood is a massive place so first responders rely heavily on dispatch to coordinate all needed resources.
” They make sure that if patrols need any fire, EMS, life flight support, they do all those coordination's, so the patrol only has to worry about their response,” said Rounds. “All those resources they need, dispatch will get there.”
Getting that done begins with gathering accurate information.
”When you call 911 on the installation, or even off the installation, the dispatcher is going to ask you questions,” said Virgen-Sims. “This isn’t television where we instantly know everything about what’s going on or your exact location. So, we’re going to ask you questions.”
The dispatchers are there to serve the soldiers and families on the post just like anyone else who answers your 911 call.
”I want them to know that there’s no difference between us and outside when you’re calling for help,” said Virgen-Sims. “If you call us, we’re going to send you help.”
It’s a community service they are proud to do.