Mike Rigert

Mike Rigert

ACE Achievers

By Mike Rigert

I’m in awe of you. In fact I’m downright flabbergasted at the amazing job that you as emergency dispatchers perform, often with fewer resources, compensation, and public acclaim than your counterpart first responders.

Though I’ve never been in your shoes, I’ve talked with you numerous times in my former life as a newspaper journalist assigned to the “cops and courts” beats to get items to fill the daily police blotter. In that role, I had numerous occasions to get a glimpse of what first responders do—from ride-alongs with a state highway patrol trooper, to scampering 100 feet straight up to the top rung of a ladder truck in full firefighter gear, to wearing a Kevlar helmet and ballistic vest and firing off live rounds from a .40-caliber Glock at paper “villains” in a “house” during a SWAT training exercise.

But similar to 99 percent of Joe Public, I haven’t sat in your seat, nor worn your headset, nor taken your 9-1-1 calls.

That’s why I’m grateful for the opportunities I’ve had since joining The Journal of Emergency Dispatch staff about a year ago to really learn more about what you do, why you do it, and how you do it. The more knowledge I’ve gained, the deeper my respect has grown for the challenges and stress that your job entails. As you know, most people wouldn’t last one week in your vocation. Probably not even one day.

In the time since I’ve come on-board, I’ve taken the EMD certification course; visited a consolidated, metropolitan 9-1-1 PSAP; and been able to talk with some of you. And although I don’t have your training or experience, I regularly connect with emergency communications experts to better provide you with what we hope are insightful articles and columns relevant to industry news and trends, protocol best practices, and profiles focused on dispatchers and Accredited Centers of Excellence (ACE). Our goal is to provide you with the information, ideas, tips, tools—and to some extent—the support that will aid you in using the protocols.

Audrey Fraizer, Heather Darata, and I, along with a support team of marketing and communications professionals and Academy experts, are continually looking for ways to improve the magazine and find better ways to deliver The Journal that you want, that will better assist you in your career, and, in short, make it easier for you to achieve Academy requirements.

Feel free to let us know how we’re doing at Thanks!