Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Dispatch Supervisor Reflects on Half-Million 911 Calls

Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Dispatch Supervisor Reflects on Half-Million 911 Calls

Article excerpt

Susan Wempe, a 32-year dispatcher for Topeka and Shawnee County, has taken just shy of 500,000 emergency calls, Shawnee County Sheriff Herman T. Jones said Friday. That is based on receiving 1,300 calls a month for 32 years.

She started as a dispatcher for the Topeka Fire Department on Nov. 29, 1985, and she promoted to supervisor in July 1987.

"In 1985, it was the best-paying job I could find without a college degree," Wempe said during a retirement reception. The job paid $6.36 an hour and carried benefits, she recalled.

After taking almost a half-million emergency phone calls on the job, Wempe might hate phones, right? No.

"I love talking on it when I'm not at work," Wempe said.

Memorable emergency calls include one during the holdup of Academy Sports + Outdoors by four teens, some armed with firearms, she said. …

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