Just call her a “first” First Responder. Brenda O’Neal has one of the more unseen, unsung jobs in emergency response. She’s a 9-1-1 communications supervisor, and now, I’m making sure she’s both seen and heard.
“What we do is answer all 9-1-1 calls for help, and our biggest focus is on providing safety for the responders and the best care possible for the callers and information to apprehend the bad people,” she says.
After a five-year stint with the Huntsville Police Department, she came over to the Huntsville-Madison County 9-1-1 System. For the last 21 years, she’s been making sure people get what they need when they call for help.
She goes on to say that the most rewarding part is “knowing that we are getting every aspect of the process answered, trying to make sure that we’re focusing on responder safety, caller safety and bad person apprehension.”
Any time you’ve seen a HEMSI ambulance or a Madison fire truck whizzing down the road with its siren on and red lights flashing – it’s all because the people at Huntsville-Madison County 9-1-1 System made it possible.
“We are co-located, and we are able to work with each agency within the center, because here we have Huntsville Police, Madison County Sheriff’s Department, Madison Police, Madison Fire, Huntsville Fire, County Fire, HEMSI and the 9-1-1 specific call takers.”
It’s always important for Brenda and her team to be thorough in addressing your emergencies. The more thorough they are, the more efficiently they can help you.
“I know people wonder why we ask so any questions, but we ask the questions so we can make sure that we get the right response to each person calling in.”
Brenda is a very important piece of the puzzle at the Huntsville-Madison County 9-1-1 System, and everyone there knows it. Here is what her CEO Ernie Blair had to say.
“Her professionalism is just unparalleled, so we’re really proud to have her here, and we hope she stays forever.”