Limbrick celebrates 20 years as a dispatcher

Red Oak dispatcher Renae Limbrick recently celebrated a major milestone.
Limbrick was recently given an award by the Association of Public Safety Communications Officials (APCO.) Limbrick was honored for her 20 years of service as a Montgomery County Communications dispatcher.
Limbrick said she first decided to approach a career in dispatch communications because of her husband.
“My husband was a reserve officer for the Red Oak Police Department at the time. He talked me into applying for it, and then I went from there,” Limbrick said.
Limbrick reflected back on the process she followed to secure the new position.
“After I applied, of course I had to do some testing. We covered simple things like spelling and then they would read phone numbers to you and you had to write them down in sequence. It wasn’t anything too intense,” commented Limbrick.
Limbrick said being able to attend the APCO conference in person and receive the award was quite an experience.
“It was really good. There were a lot of people that they gave awards to for their years of service and I was happy to be a part of the group of dispatchers with 20 years of service under their belts,” stated Limbrick.
Limbrick reflected on the things she finds the most rewarding about being able to serve as a dispatcher for the police department, sheriff’s office, and fire departments.
“I love being able to help people. Also, it’s something different every day. There’s nothing that’s ever routine, and you never know what you’re going to encounter when you pick up the phone. Some people think we just answer phones, and there’s so much more to it than that,” advised Limbrick. “I may be working something like a major accident, but I still have other calls coming in. The call may be something as simple as a barking dog, but still, we’re always doing multiple things and trying to figure out what resources our emergency responders will need and trying to stay one step ahead of our responders to try and get them the things you know they’ll need when they get on the scene of whatever they’re having to deal with.”
Limbick said over the years there have been several phone calls that she’s taken over the years that have been calls she’ll never forget.
“One situation was an accident with a little girl that didn’t make it. That call has always stuck out to me, as it was right before Christmas,” Limbrick said.
While that call had a tragic outcome, Limbrick said she’s happy to be in an area where many calls have a better ending.
“We have a lot more calls that have a positive outcome than a negative outcome. Still, some of the phone calls really stick with you.”
Limbrick said the new communications that the county installed a few years ago has been nothing but positive.
“The new radios are amazing. We have way better communications with all of our responders and don’t have anywhere near the dead spots we used to have. That’s been a huge help to everyone,” Limbrick commented.
One thing that happens frequently, Limbrick said, is accidental calls to 911. She reminded residents what they need to do if they accidentally call the service center.
“Just stay on the line. If you don’t, we will call you back. We’ll ask you for your name and address and phone number just for our records. It happens frequently, and it’s really not a huge deal,” stated Limbrick.
Limbrick also encouraged younger folks to consider pursuing a job in dispatch for a future career.
“I would absolutely recommend it. It can be super fast paced, and as I said, there’s never anything routine. It may be something simple or a major incident. It’s a very rewarding job. We’ve got a good group to work with, everyone gets along really well, and it’s like a second family.”

The Red Oak Express

2012 Commerce Drive
P.O. Box 377
Red Oak, IA 51566
Phone: 712-623-2566 Fax: 712-623-2568

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