by Jim Morekis
Nickie has only worked with Chatham County for a few months — since the E911 emergency call center’s take over by the County — but she is quite well-known.
Nickie has worked as a 911 emergency supervisor with Savannah Police for the past 39 years. From a homicide to a medical emergency, every emergency call in the county, except for Savannah Fire, routes through her and her colleagues.
“When we started, the city limits stopped at Stephenson Avenue,” she remembers. “We had a total of three dispatchers. There was a light-up board with the location of the calls. You had to know all the police beats and all the local streets.”
Now, there’s a rotating crew of about 20 emergency call staffers, and a computer determines who responds to which calls.
Does Nickie fear that automation might eventually take over the 911 response system completely?
“No. There’s too much teamwork involved. We saw that with the recent incident where Sgt. Ansari was killed,” she says.
“The whole situation can completely change in a second. No computer can react fast enough to that and know what to do.” – Jim Morekis
Runner-up: Gene Harley
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