Name: Jessica Pruett
Education: I graduated from Rockmart High School in 1994 and attended Floyd College until I began working at 911. I have the following certifications: P.O.S.T. Certified Communications Officer, Communications Training Officer, CPR, Emergency Medical Dispatch, Georgia Crime Information Operator, and Terminal Agency Coordinator. I also have numerous certificates for the National Incident Management System and courses for EMA. The training and education for this job is continuous.
Family: I have a wonderful husband, Brandon, and 7-year-old step-son, Jackson. We also have a 3-year-old boxer, Bailie, who thinks she is the second child in our home.
Occupation: I am the major for the Bartow County Sheriff's Office 911 division as well as the departmental Terminal Agency Coordinator.
City of residence: Taylorsville
What's the most memorable call you have taken through 911?
A: There are many reasons and factors that one call could be more memorable than the next. For example, you have the birth of a child, a fatal accident, missing person and even the ones where you say, "There is no way that just happened." Simply said, there would be too many to list. When you are passionate about your profession, you will have lots of memorable times.
What are the majority of calls for through Bartow 911?
A: Believe it or not, the call we get the most is for alarms. It is followed by domestics and medical calls.
How has the technology changed through the years you have served?
A: The technology has changed tremendously. When I began dispatching, we had paper logs and calls cards. Currently, we have computer-aided dispatch systems at every console in the center. At the time of paper logs, we received calls mainly from landline phones, including residences, businesses and pay phones. Today, we are receiving calls mostly from cellphones, VOIP, computers, etc.
What is the greatest challenge dispatchers face today?
A: One of the greatest challenges we face is the unknown -- a communications officer never knows if the next phone call is going to be an alarm, a domestic or just someone needing the visitation schedule for an inmate. Another challenge would be getting John Q. Public to understand that Hollywood embellishes the public safety community as a whole and it is nothing like what they see on TV.
Why did you get into the emergency response field?
A: Honestly, it was accidental. I was going to Floyd College and working at what was Floyd Rehabilitation at the time. I received a phone call asking me to come in and interview for a 911 position. I got the job and I am still here. I never dreamed this would be for me, but I can truthfully say I am very passionate about the job I do. I love being a communications officer and the reward I receive daily.
Where is your favorite place to be in Bartow County and why?
A: I love being with my family, so anywhere that I can spend time with them.
Who has been a significant mentor in your life and why?
A: My parents have been the greatest teachers in my life. They have taught me many valuable lessons and gave me a strong foundation to build from. I continue to learn from them today as an adult. In my career, I have been very fortunate with mentors. Several people "took me under their wing," so to speak, and no one is more significant than another.
If you could have any talent, what would it be and why?
A: I would love to be able to sing beautifully and play the piano because of my love for music.
If you could have any job in the world, what would it be and why?
A: My "dream" is to work with marine animals because of my love for animals and the water. However, I honestly can't imagine doing anything other than what I currently do for a living. I am truly passionate about the profession and love my current assignment.
If you could have any superhuman power, what would it be and why?
A: With the job, psychic abilities would be great. This would give me the ability to see the future, know the past, have the information in the event someone could not convey their need, etc.