Duty of Care for the Control Room Operator

 

In this episode of “NOC Your SOCs Off,” host Dan Gundry explores the crucial topic of duty of care for control room operators with guests Tanya Lee and Megan Koehler of Evans Consoles. The discussion focuses on enhancing the operator experience and the responsibilities of industry professionals towards these vital yet often overlooked workers.

Megan Koehler, Director of Public Safety and Transportation at Evans, emphasizes the importance of supporting dispatchers, who she regards as first responders. She highlights the mental and emotional challenges faced by dispatchers, especially when dealing with emergencies. Megan’s ten years in public safety have shown her the stark differences in working conditions across control centers and the urgent need for better support for these professionals.

Tanya Lee, with over five years at Evans, discusses her role in ensuring healthy and clean working environments for operators. She stresses the importance of preventive maintenance and ergonomic design in control rooms, linking physical work conditions directly to operators’ mental well-being.

The episode also delves into the Denise Amber Lee Foundation’s work, highlighting its role in training and supporting control room operators. The foundation focuses on improving communication and accountability in control centers, drawing from the tragic story of Denise Amber Lee, who was kidnapped and murdered due to dispatch errors. Nathan Lee, the foundation’s founder, and Tanya’s husband, aims to prevent such tragedies through better training and awareness.

Concluding the episode, Dan, Tanya, and Megan discuss the need for recognizing the mental health challenges faced by control room operators and emphasize the importance of community and support in this high-stress profession. The discussion underscores the vital role of operators in emergency response and the collective duty of the industry to care for and support these individuals.

Be sure to watch the full conversation above!

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