Murphy leaves 911 center after 15 years of service to people of Estill County
You may not know Dana Murphy when you see her, but if you have ever called 911 during the hours between 4 p.m. and midnight, you probably know her voice.
Dana has been a dispatcher at the Estill County Emergency Operations Center for 15 years. Now she has decided to accept a new challenge to dispatch for the Kentucky State Police Post 7 in Richmond.
“It has always been a dream of mine, that I would one day be good enough to be a KSP dispatcher,” Dana said.
Dana was going through what she called “a wealth of emotions, last Friday as she performed her final eight hours of service to the people of Estill County as a dispatcher. But she says her heart will always be with fire and rescue and she will still volunteer in that capacity.
Dana began working as a dispatcher when she was hired by then supervisor, Shelby Horn,on Aug. 27, 1997.
“I had been married for three weeks and I was working at the Right Place,” she said. “Shelby told me to pick up an application and then she hired me.”
Later on, Dana served as supervisor for a short time, but soon went back to being a dispatcher. The highlight of her years on the job was knowing she had gained the trust and confidence of the people in the field.
“As a dispatcher, it takes awhile to gain respect, trust and confidence of the people in the field ( the firefighters, police, ambulance service) and when I finally did, it was like winning the lottery,” Dana explained.
She said the lowest points for her were when she was on duty when an Irvine officer was shot and when a state police trooper shot a young man. She said the worst feeling is losing somebody with whom you have been talking on the phone for several hours.
“When something scary happens, you just get in this mode where training kicks in and you just handle it,” Dana said. “Then later on I can go off by myself and have a break-down.”
She said she is grateful for the support and understanding she has always had from her husband, Irvine Fire Chief Tony Murphy.
“I owe so very much to my husband, Tony. His support, understanding and certainly not the least, his patience. I know there were times he wanted to scream. He must have the patience of a saint,” she said.
Dana received 40 hours of training at the Department of Criminal Justice Training in Richmond when she first began dispatching. She trains for eight hours each year to keep her certification. She is also a certified communications training officer and has served in that capacity at the local dispatch center since 1999. She has received training in linking with the National Crime Information Center which she thinks will benefit her as a KSP dispatcher.
Dana will begin working for the KSP on March 16, but she said it isn’t easy to leave the people she has worked with in Estill County, one in particular.
“I will have a hard time leaving (Emergency Management Director) Fred Rogers. He has been an excellent boss. I couldn’t have asked for a better person to work with,” Dana said. “I am truly going to miss him.”