When you think of Ark-La-Tex first responders, you usually think of police officers, fire and rescue along with emergency services, but we often forget about the hard work of dispatchers. And Ark-La-Tex dispatchers have taken their skills to Baton Rouge to help people affected by Tropical Storm Barry.

Lt. Amy Pope, communications supervisor for the Bossier Sheriff's Office, knew she would be busy when she headed to Baton Rouge this morning to assist the LA. Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness with dispatcher calls and radio traffic.

It wasn't long before she and fellow Bossier dispatcher, Allison Green, hit the ground running this afternoon soon after they arrived. They are working in the Comm Room in the state EOC building. The room next to them is where the EOC will be conducting briefings at 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. daily.

"We are here to help with the vast number of calls that will come during a storm like this," said Lt. Pope. "As dispatchers, we know that people will call their emergency numbers for help, and folks down here are going to be overwhelmed. We want to help."

While most of the time during a disaster, it's the patrol deputies or rescue teams that deploy. This time, a communications team from Bossier also deployed. And that is something that excites Amy and Allison.

"It's something that is fairly new for us to come down like this," said Lt. Pope. "I'm really glad we get to use our skills and talents as dispatchers to help down here," she said.

While they will help with communications at the EOC, they will also be ready to assist other local agencies with any manning or communications equipment needs they may have

Additionally, a team of eight water rescue deputies from the Bossier Sheriff's Office also departed this morning to assist during Tropical Storm Barry.
  Ark-La-Tex dispatchers helping in Baton Rouge include Allison Green and Lt. Amy Pope.