It Starts with a Square

Collierville Communications Center Saves Lives

BY Anna Bell

It was a quiet Saturday in June, and many of us were spending the day running errands, doing yard-work, or maybe attending a backyard barbecue. While we were enjoying a carefree summer day, Dispatchers in the Collierville Communications Center were ready, as always, to answer those calls when carefree turns to concern.

The Collierville Communications Center is where the Collierville Police Dispatchers answer emergency calls – our own 911 answering service for Collierville residents.

In 2018, the CPD’s Dispatchers answered 9,157 emergency calls, and 99% of those were answered in under 10 seconds.

On this particular Saturday in June, two calls were received by CPD Dispatch where lifesaving advice was given over the phone until emergency responders arrived.

In the morning, Dispatcher Terrye Canady gave delivery instructions to a father, as his wife was quickly progressing into labor. Upon taking the call, Terrye immediately dispatched the Collierville Fire Department, however, stayed on the phone with the father to give instructions and to keep him calm during the process. The father successfully delivered the baby, and Terrye stayed on the phone until she made sure the baby was breathing properly and CFD arrived. She ended the phone call with a “congratulations” to the couple for a successful delivery and becoming parents.

That afternoon, Dispatcher Charles Byars answered a call where a three-year-old had fallen into a pool and was not breathing. Charles notified CFD and began walking the caller through CPR steps. The resuscitation was successful – the child was breathing by the time CFD arrived at the home.

If you have to call 911 in an emergency, know that our Dispatchers will do everything they can to help you until police or fire responds to the scene. Try to remember these guidelines if you have to call 911:

 1) Be patient. Calls are answered in the order they are received and if you hang up, you will go to the back of the line.  

2) Give brief, clear answers so the dispatcher can process the information as quickly as possible.

3) Follow the dispatcher’s instructions.

4) Do not hang up until you are told to do so!

And last, but not least, Shout-Out to our fast acting dispatchers!

Town of Collierville, Public Information Office
May/June 2020 Tour Collierville Magazine