Last call, dispatcher changing careers.

January 22, 2015

IMG_2853By Rob Alway. Editor-in-Chief. 

WEARE TWP. (Oceana Co.) — There are many unsung heroes who live among us. Kristie Fillips is one of them. For the past 19 years Kristie has worked as a dispatcher at Mason-Oceana 911; for over 10 years she has been a supervisor. It is the only full time job she ever had; she began working there when the center opened in 1995 after she just completed her associate’s degree at West Shore Community College.

Today, Kristie she completes that chapter in her life. It will be the last time she answers the phone and says: “911, what’s your emergency?” It will be the last time she shares with the people of Mason and Oceana counties their most vulnerable and tragic moments. Leaving comes with mixed emotions.

“I will miss the people I work with,” she says. “I will miss my fellow dispatchers, my officers and deputies and my firefighters and EMTs.” She says she probably won’t miss the emergencies, but she won’t forget most of them.

“Some really stick out, some with happy endings and some with not so happy endings,” she says. “I helped deliver a baby, that was pretty special.”

Naturally, there has been a lot of change in the world since 1995. She says the biggest changes she experienced at 911 was the move from the basement of the Oceana County Sheriff’s Office to a new building on Oceana Drive. Technology has certainly also been a big change. “When we started, we would write everything down using pen and paper,” she says. “Now, everything is done on computer.”

After nearly 20 years, it’s time for a career change, Kristie says. Her new career will take her to OxyChem in Ludington where she will work as a bulk loader. “It’s very different than what I have been doing,” she says. “It’s going to be a nice change of pace and I’m thankful I am still young enough to be able to change careers.”

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