#Iam000 - meet the team
Meet our police call-taker and SES dispatcher, Tash. As part of our #Iam000 series, we speak with Tash about the critical service she provides to the community.
What attracted you to the role?
I’ve been with ESTA for seven years and prior to that, I was an English teacher in Japan for five years.
There were a couple of factors that drew me to the role. I’ve always been keen on helping people, which is where teaching came in. Also, when I was younger, I was involved in an emergency where an aggravated burglary was in progress and I called the police. The reassuring manner and quick response of both the police operator and attending police officers has always stuck with me and planted the seed in me to have a police related career.
Originally I was looking at joining the police force but due to an injury, I had to look elsewhere in the emergency services sector. I was looking for a role that allowed me to still be part of helping the community and part of that first response, which is when I found ESTA and I never looked back.
It's also great that ESTA has given me the opportunity to multi-skill in SES dispatching, which further adds to my skill set in being able to help the community.
What have been the strangest/challenging/rewarding experiences as an ESTA operator?
Being a police a call-taker, we are exposed to human behaviour that the average person wouldn’t come across on a daily basis, from dealing with hoax calls to abusive callers.
Every call is different - and sometimes you have those calls that just stick with you. I remember a car accident where a child was in severe entrapment and hanging by their seat and to make the call even more intense, the caller and child were out in the middle of the bush where getting their location details was more challenging. You really need to work with your caller and keep them calm in order to get the right help to them as quickly as possible.
Although you have your intense calls, it builds resilience and is also very rewarding. For example, coordinating multiple SES rescue units during storm season is always challenging but also rewarding to know the impact you’ve had on the jobs’ outcome.
What would you tell others thinking of becoming an ESTA operator?
It does take strength of character, resilience and tenacity to do this role, as well as the ability to think outside the square while remaining calm - but if you are passionate about helping others and you want to be part of that first response to an emergency, then don’t hold back into looking at having a career as an ESTA operator.