Welcome to the first edition of our series featuring real-life stories from Dispatchers around the country who are using Prepared Live, a software that provides 911 dispatchers with livestream, photos, GPS locations, and other real-time data from callers to help better assess emergencies.
Our goal is to highlight incredible public servants, share their stories, and show how Prepared Live is helping them save lives on a day-to-day basis.
Our first Dispatcher is Shamoya Radcliffe of the Nye County Sheriff’s Office in Nevada. We spoke with Shamoya in person last week to hear her story and get her thoughts on Prepared Live.
There are a variety of answers you’ll hear when you ask public servants why they do what they do. Some love the work because they enjoy the task at hand. Others simply needed a job and were able to find a role in public service. Many, if not most, are incredibly passionate about what they do and the communities they serve. Shamoya Radcliffe is just that.
To hear her discuss her work with the Nye County Sheriff’s Office in Nevada is to hear someone express contagious enthusiasm.
Shamoya was a manager at a McDonald’s in Florida a few years back when she heard about an opening at a nearby agency. There, she tells us, she fell in love with being part of the emergency dispatch team. She says, “I fell in love because it’s public service, I enjoy helping other people, I help save lives on a daily basis, and [I’m] available to the public to help them with their needs.”
This passion for helping people in the community is what brings Shamoya to work every day. Her favorite part of the job, she says, is, “[Giving] pre-arrival instructions when the person is waiting on the ambulance and we can provide assistance and assurance while the person waits,” as this is a key area where she can make an outsized impact
That said, the task of trying to communicate with, and guide, a panicked caller without being able to fully see or understand what is occurring on the other end of the line can be challenging.
Enter Prepared Live.
As an experienced dispatcher, Shamoya was initially hesitant to add a new piece of technology to their existing processes. Nye is a smaller center, despite the county itself being the third largest area in the contiguous 48 states, so dispatchers and supervisors are often charged with multi-tasking and handling various aspects of the job simultaneously.
She elaborates, “I was skeptical because it was another task for us to do when we already have so much stuff we’re already doing,” but adds, with hindsight, “It’s helping you, not taking anything away, and making it easier for you to help the caller [while] not knowing what’s going on the other side.”
Dispatchers at every center are juggling a number of different internal and external stresses. It’s easy to imagine that telling someone to learn, and adopt, a new system is daunting or downright annoying.
Shamoya’s experience with Prepared Live, she says, was the opposite, “The software is pretty easy to use, the training was simple, and the system is set up so [that] you just press one button to [activate Prepared Live] and you don’t have to push a bunch of buttons to get where you want to go.”
Her first call with the platform was for an unconscious male in need of resuscitation. At this point, Shamoya was still skeptical about how Prepared Live could integrate into their existing system. That soon changed.
After receiving the call and activating Prepared Live, her supervisor was able to guide a bystander on how to properly perform CPR with detailed instructions on hand placement and technique. Following this experience, Shamoya saw a noticeable difference in their ability to handle emergencies, “With Prepared Live, we are literally there. We can give them instruction and give them tips as we see what’s going on.”
Telling a story about a call for a car accident on I-95, she details how essential Prepared Live has become for Nye County and how it can help harried callers during difficult situations. She says, “I used [it] for an injury accident on 95 [and], since its a really long highway, a lot of people don’t know where they’re at. So, I [activated Prepared Live] and from there I was able to see where the person was off the roadway and see the person trapped in the vehicle. The caller was able to get close and show me what was going on and I was able to give instruction.”
By acting as immediate eyes-on-scene, Prepared Live gives dispatchers like Shamoya a vastly increased level of information. And she doesn’t want that to change:
“If it was taken away, we’d have to go back to how things were, which left a lot of questions for us as we’re not able to see what’s going on…I would probably feel helpless in a lot of situations.”
It’s important to Shamoya, and to us at Prepared, that dispatchers are empowered by technology to help make the public safer. She says that Prepared Live can make a difference for dispatchers in how they do their jobs, adding, “It’s helping you, not taking anything away, and making it easier for you to help the caller.”
When she discusses her first experience with the platform, Shamoya’s tone belays an underlying sense of hope for how Prepared Live changes her job moving forward. She says, “The experience was a mixture of ‘Wow, we’re actually there’ and [are] able to make a difference in the call…we could see what’s going on and give them instruction and it was amazing.”
And that was just the start.
Prepared is incredibly thankful for people like Shamoya that work every day to improve public safety. We’re proud to share her story.