STANLEY — 911 Dispatchers take on nearly 300 to 500 emergency-related calls a day, being a calm in the storm all while safely assessing the situation as help arrives. For many dispatchers, it’s the high-stress calls that stick with them beyond the job.
Bailey Johnson is a 26-year-old Stanley resident, working as a 911 dispatcher for Mountrail County Emergency.
“I started working at the sheriff’s office about five years ago. I was actually working at a gas station and the sheriff at the time came in and told me to apply for dispatch, so I did,” said Johnson, singer/911 dispatcher.
Taking the job as a full-time position, she wasn’t quite sure what she was getting herself into — receiving a lot of sad calls.
“A woman whose child isn’t breathing, those are definitely some of the hardest calls I’ve taken. Trying to convince people that help is on the way and that we’re doing everything we can to get people to you and help the situation and I’m dealing with multiple situations throughout my one, eight-hour shift. So those are the calls that really stick with you and you take home with you,” said Johnson.
But as a way to cope and get her mind away from work, Johnson found music.
“I started writing songs and have been writing songs ever since and it’s just my form of therapy, I guess, I just love writing my thoughts down and putting it to music so I’ve been doing that,” said Johnson.
Affecting not only her emotions but those surrounded by her.
“I’ve been doing dispatch with her so I know we’ve taken some pretty rough calls together and have kind of been each other’s support system because it’s hard dealing with those emotions by yourself,” said Cassandra Gerich, co-worker/friend.
Johnson’s music has now traveled to near cities like Minot where she has an opportunity to record her next album and move forward with her career.
“I somehow got hooked up with Casey Black. He runs Adapt Audio in Minot and he has his own recording studio and he does an amazing job and I guess that’s kind of where all that came from..” Johnson said.