DISPATCHER WEEK: Nikki Arndt is the calm voice needed in hectic situations

Published 8:00 am Thursday, April 18, 2024

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EDITOR’S NOTE: In recognition of National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week, the Daily News will be highlighting some of the dispatchers at Troup County 911 who are the first, first response when emergency help is needed. Today we are featuring Dispatcher Nikki Arndt.

 Nikki Arndt has been working as a dispatch officer for about seven years altogether. She said she was initially with Troup 911 for a couple of years but left for a while. She later returned and has been back for about five years.

Arndt enjoys working at Troup 911 and trying to make a difference for people in their time of need.

“I love it. I love this job. It definitely feels like a job for me,” Arndt said, noting she feels like she is contributing something working at Troup 911.

“We’re the calm voice. We are who they hear whenever their emergency first starts. So we’re here for them when it’s started off. Hopefully we will make a difference whenever they call in and we try to stay calm as much as we can.

Arndt said she tries to stay calm by just not overreacting when they hear emergency calls.

”I try to stay calm. I just try not to react to it in a bad way. Because if you get upset or if you start reacting to it, they will too. They can sense whenever you’re upset and it’s affecting you so I try to calm them down,” Arnt said.

“Keeping your voice calm is a big thing. Keeping your voice down and keeping them listening to you, the callers and our units, even on the other side,” Arndt said. “Trying to keep your voice calm is a good thing for the caller and for the units.”

Arndt said the calls where they can help people and know they are safe are the most rewarding.

“The biggest type of call that I find rewarding is if it’s a medical emergency and then they make it to the hospital safely. Especially, if we’ve had to do CPR instructions or anything like that if they make it. If we can get them back and they get to the hospital and end up making it, that’s rewarding to me,” she said.

Many people would think that the majority of 911 calls are medical related but more often than not they are disputes of some sort.

“We do receive a lot of medical calls but the majority are disputes, some domestic disputes, and then just regular disputes where people are upset with each other,” Arndt said.

She said the biggest thing with those calls is keeping the parties separated and assuring them that help is on the way, along with getting all the information and giving it to responding officers.