Bossier Sheriff’s dispatchers deploy to Alabama for Hurricane Sally relief

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From the Bossier Sheriff’s Office:

A couple of Bossier Sheriff’s Office dispatchers departed Bossier Parish Wednesday to help with emergency communications in southern Alabama with the disaster of Hurricane Sally.
Lt. Amy Pope, BSO Communications SupervisorLt. Amy Pope, supervisor of communications, and Dispatcher Jake Little are part of a statewide team of eight dispatchers with the Louisiana Telecommunications Emergency Response Team (LA-TERT) deployed to Baldwin County, Alabama at the Baldwin County 9-1-1 center.

Dispatcher Jake Little, Bossier Sheriff’s OfficeBaldwin County and the surrounding jurisdiction were heavily impacted by Hurricane Sally, and on Wednesday morning, the county’s 9-1-1 leadership requested assistance from the Telecommunicator Emergency Response Taskforce national leadership.

Within 20 minutes, Lt. Pope and Dispatcher Little were part of a team that answered that call, and the Louisiana team joined another team from Tennessee as they headed to our neighboring state to help.
This deployment of LA-TERT stands as the first instance in the organization’s history that one of its teams has been called upon to assist with emergency communications during an emergency event. In the past, Louisiana has called upon assistance like this; now they can repay the act.

“This is the moment our team has been waiting for,” said Tyrell Morris, OPCD Executive Director and LA-TERT State Coordinator. “During Hurricane Katrina, many public safety agencies came to the aid of our residents. Our team sees this as an opportunity to pay that support and kindness forward. We are all in this together. Whether we are needed at home in Louisiana, across state lines, or all the way across the country, we are here to help.”

Amy and Jake are scheduled to assist with emergency communications through mid-next week as their eight-person team from Louisiana will take calls from the public, dispatch the appropriate fire or medic station, and take radio traffic from the responding individual units.
Northwest Louisiana has seen its share of major flooding and natural disasters, and Lt. Pope and Dispatcher Little are glad to offer their support to Alabamans in need.

“Our job here is to lend whatever assistance we can to the people who have been working without breaks or adequate rest,” Lt. Pope said. “Some of these folks haven’t been home to deal with their own damage because of their duty to the citizens of Baldwin County. We’re stepping in to specifically help them so that they can return rested and ready to take back the headset.”

1 – Lt. Amy Pope (Communications Supervisor, Bossier Sheriff’s Office) deployed to Baldwin County (AL) 9-1-1
Dispatcher Jake Little, Bossier Sheriff’s Office, deployed to Baldwin County (AL) 9-1-1When natural disasters like hurricanes come storming through, they damage just about everything in their path, including the homes of first responders.

Having Amy, Jake, and the rest of the LA-TERT dispatchers there to assist, the local dispatchers can tend to the damage to their own property and get some much-needed rest to prepare for duty once again.

“I am excited for Amy and Jake to help folks in Alabama as they deal with the destruction of Hurricane Sally,” said Bossier Sheriff Julian Whittington. “They are adequately trained as part of a statewide emergency communications response team, and I am glad they are able to help in this crisis. They already do an awesome job dispatching here in Bossier Parish…now they can help folks in Alabama.”

Photos Courtesy of: The Bossier Sheriff’s Office