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TAKING ACTION: Dispatchers say knowing where you are before what’s happening is vital in an emergency

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - Dispatchers are the first line for first responders and the people on the other end of the line during an emergency. There are a couple of ways we can all help them, help us.

Your address is the most important piece of information to a Huntsville Police Department dispatcher.

"I wish that people knew when they called in that the location is the important piece of information," Dispatcher Stephanie White said. "As long as we have the location, we can send you help."

Dispatchers say where you are should come before what you're experiencing.

"While the officers are driving, we are updating the drivers with what exactly is going on, how many people are involved, descriptions of people involved, vehicles involved," White explained.

Another word of advice from these first responders: your patience is key.

"We have to ask the questions,' White said. "The questions can be frustrating. After we get location, we're going to continue asking questions and some people get very frustrated with the questions."

No matter the emergency, rest assured the voice on the other end of the line is ready to be your lifeline.

"It takes strong will and it takes persistence because people are very upset when they call the police," White said. "It's not because they had a great day, it's because someone traumatic has happened. We have to be the link between the problem and the solution."

This week is a great time to remember our dispatchers as it's National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week. Dispatchers say the characteristic that unites them all is a desire to help.