Plano dispatchers find stress release at exercise work stations

Plano dispatchers find stress release at exercise work stations

PLANO, Texas -- There are few jobs like being a 911 dispatcher. As one city representative put it: "They're the first First Responders"

They are the undercover heroes and most often throughout the day they are tethered to their desks.

"It is all the excitement of police and fire and none of the danger. but we still have all of the stress," said Rodriguez.

The stress is part of the job and all the dispatchers are well aware of that. At the 9-1-1 Dispatch center in Plano things are moving faster than you would normally think. It epitomizes the term "work station."

Plano has installed a treadmill and an exercise bike to the work stations at Plano 9-1-1 Dispatch. It's been there more than 8 months now and is used by dispatchers as well as office personnel.

Rodriguez says she tries to get in about 7,000 steps a day on the treadmills attached to the work stations. It takes talent and some coordination too.

"After a while you look down and 'hey I've been going 20 minutes'" said Eric Lenox.

There are limits to how fast you can go says Rodriguez. She says it is a pace slow enough to still do the job. The bike is not nearly as popular as the treadmill.

"It's better than sitting in a chair...for sure," said Molly Accomando.

It's part of Plano's wellness initiative. For Lenox it is the release he needs considering the kinds of calls he takes.

"Another emergency, and another emergency, and it can compound on you," he said.

Through Fitbit, employees are challenged to hit personal goals and sometimes they're even challenged by coworkers. The work of a dispatch is work unseen. Now in more ways than one.

© 2017 WFAA-TV


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