Hallie Pfendler and Denyse Hastwell are 911 dispatchers in Lewis County. The two work hand in hand to get help to people who need it.
“We’re considered secretaries and we do a lot more than that. We potentially save lives. We do CPR instructions. We get people there that need to be there,” said Hastwell.
That work is now being recognized by Governor Kathy Hochul, who signed legislation earlier this month giving 911 dispatchers the designation of first responders.
“The people that protect you are your firefighters or EMS, but we are watching over them. We are keeping track of them so they keep each other safe, but we keep them safe too,” said Pfendler. The new law gives dispatchers a chance for more training opportunities as a first responder in communications.