Simmons chosen top dispatcher

Published 7:00 pm Sunday, June 17, 2018

Three years after she “fell into” a job as a dispatcher with Vicksburg-Warren County 911, Vonnae Simmons has been chosen as the dispatcher of the year.

“I had a friend who was working here and he knew I was looking for a full-time job and they were hiring at the moment. I just applied and I didn’t think I was going to get it,” Simmons said of her start at 911.

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Simmons joined 911 in 2015 and said there have been highs and lows during that time, but she has enjoyed the experience of being a dispatcher.

“It has been really interesting, especially dealing with the public,” she said. “You have your good moments and some not so good moments. Overall, it has been a very interesting experience I don’t think I would have gotten this anywhere else.”

Simmons said her favorite parts of the job are the people she works with and also the knowledge that she is helping people.

“The highlight of the job as a far as working here would probably be the people I work with,” she said. “Teamwork makes the dream work and some of the crazy calls we get, sometimes they can be very entertaining. The other highlights of the job are the lives you potentially save. You don’t always get a thank you in this job, but you did your best to help them.”

Simmons, who works the night shift, was chosen as dispatcher of the year because of her performance over the past year.

“Vonnae is a pleasure to have on my staff, she is very dependable and hardworking,” 911 director Shane Garrard said. “She was chosen based on no write-ups, attendance and accommodations. The four supervisors chose her and my Deputy Director Bobby Rufus and myself affirmed their decisions.”

When it came time for the winner to be announced, Simmons said she had no expectation that it would be her name called and she was taken completely off-guard.

“I had a mouth full of hamburger when Shane called my name,” she said. “I didn’t even think I was getting it and it wasn’t even on my mind. It means a lot to be recognized.”