The Communications Officer/Dispatcher has the primary responsibility for the initial deployment of law enforcement/fire/EMS personnel and equipment to the scene of incidents within the community of Wintergreen. Achieving this process is a complex task which involves monitoring and answering four 911 incoming phone lines, an alarm receiver, an E911 incoming line thru a computer/cad based answering station and monitoring all the radio frequencies for the separate departments at Wintergreen. Communications personnel also dispatch calls related to fire and rescue units within the ‘first due’ areas of Nelson and Augusta Counties.
Communications officers have many other responsibilities besides dispatching emergencies. The Communications center is located within the gatehouse at the entrance to the mountain community and therefore lends itself to contact with the general public to answer questions and providing general information. They are responsible for accurately recording dispatch information into the computer radio log, reviewing and retrieving information from the VCIN/NCIC teletype system, monitoring and reviewing a closed circuit video system of all vehicles entering the community, receiving and sending faxes to and from various departments and recording the activities of patrol officers on a daily basis.
Communications personnel work various shifts and work flexible hours when necessary. Their tasks requires a thorough working knowledge of police/fire/EMS dispatching protocols, policies and procedures for each organization, knowledge of geography for the jurisdiction covered and surrounding areas. They must have the ability to think and act quickly and effectively under conditions of high stress while performing multiple tasks simultaneously. They are the lifeline for communications to all emergency service personnel responding to calls of service.