Update, 9:03 p.m.: This article was updated to reflect a correction in the identification of the area’s dispatch center.
WORTHINGTON - This week is National Public Safety Telecommunications Week, which honors dispatchers across the country annually during the second full week of April.
Much like the nation, dispatchers across the southwest Minnesota region work day and night, 24/7 to see that no call for help goes unanswered.
In the Nobles County area, that’s thanks to a six-member dispatch team at the Nobles County Dispatch Center that serve as the first line of communication between someone that needs help and area first responders. On that team is dispatcher Zach Ramerth, the newest area dispatcher who first put on his headset in December. The Fulda native fields calls from 8 p.m. to 4:30 a.m., working closely between the public and safety professionals.
A former Nobles County Corrections Officer, Ramerth’s transition to the dispatch center has been relatively smooth.
“I worked pretty closely with the dispatch as a corrections agent,” he said, adding that his role as a corrections agent also helped him become familiar with local police officers.
Having a previous relationship with many individuals in law enforcement has not been the only thing that has proved advantageous to his new role.
The 2009 Fulda High School graduate also worked in a Batallion Tactical Operations Center during his deployment to Kuwait in 2015 and 2016. A battle non-commissioned officer sergeant of his TOC, Ramerth oversaw a handful of other men that served in the information hub, tasked with gathering updates on missions and tracking personnel movements.
“That experience was nice,” he said. “It helped me with this (dispatch) job.”
Ramerth continues as an active member of the National Guard and attends routine drill weekends every month.
Dispatch Supervisor Nancy Veen said Ramerth has been a good addition to the dispatch team, as he possesses the qualities necessary for a job in dispatch.
“We need someone who can multitask, make decisions quickly, under pressure, be able to work independently and have computer skills,” Veen said.
He remains a resident of Fulda, where he serves the community on the volunteer fire department.