Dispatcher is city employee of quarter
The city of Fallon’s employee of the quarter is Fallon Police Department dispatcher Emily Rasmussen.
Rasmussen has been a professional, comforting voice on the line since December 2012, not long after she returned to her hometown of Fallon. She and her husband, Mike, have three boys who play sports: Mikey, Garret and JR.
Family-oriented, she says she always puts them first but also loves her job, co-workers and tries to go above and beyond. She likes to crochet, cook and bake — and refers to herself as a “no-talent crafter.”
Rasmussen gained a 12-year medical background after earning her associate degree and before finding her way to dispatch. Her family briefly lived in Carson City before Reno, then moved back to Fallon in 2010. She kept her job working for a Reno pediatrician; she commuted while the economy continued to recover from the recession.
The dispatcher said she had never considered something in law enforcement. When the Churchill County Sheriff’s Office was hiring, she made it to the second round of interviews. An FPD supervisor who sat in on her oral boards later contacted her to pick up an application for the police department.
“It was a completely new career field for me,” she said. “I was 30 and I’d never done anything besides medical.”
Rasmussen said the most challenging part of her job might be the warming-up period.
“There’s definitely a waiting period,” she said. “For police officers they say five years before you feel really comfortable in your thought process and decision-making skills. For me, it was well over a year probably; it’s a lot of information to take in.”
Rasmussen added there are countless scenarios and surprising legal rights.
“Nobody calls me because they’re having a good day,” she said. “Or there’s something awesome going on and they just want to tell me.”
The dispatcher said it can be hard not to become jaded and keep work separate from outside life. She also said it’s a balancing act due to the odd-hour shift work while trying to attend parent-teacher conferences and baseball games.
Rasmussen described how impressed she is how the community quickly comes together to find missing children. Common during a new school year, students may be confused about where they are supposed to be or what bus to take and disappear for awhile.
“Everyone stops what they’re doing and kids are found really quick,” she said, adding everyone from Animal Control to bus drivers team up to find students in 15-20 minutes generally.
Rasmussen said dispatchers are not in the public eye even though people talk to them all the time … but they are never usually seen.
“Every once in a while you’ll go somewhere with your work shirt on,” she said. “And they say, ‘Thank you, that’s got to be a tough job.’”
Sometimes callers bring in cards and say thank you, she added.
“Emily is a reliable, hard-working, excellent employee,” said police Captain Kris Alexander. “She comes to work with a smile on her face and is a pleasure to work with.”
The captain said she works well with all members of the police department as well as the CCSO.
“Emily is accurate with date entry, which allows officers to do their jobs effectively,” he said. “If you need something done, Emily gets it done without hesitation or delay.”