FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Studies have shown that 911 telecommunicators have one of the most stressful jobs in the U.S. From long hours and increasing call volumes to fielding calls from distraught citizens, most agree that while the job is rewarding, it can take its toll. “When we answer a 911 call, we might be talking with someone at one of the worst moments of their lives,” says Springfield-Greene County 911 Emergency Communications Director Zim Schwartze. “The dispatchers try to leave it at the door when they go home, but it can be very hard.” Springfield-Greene County 911 telecommunicators fielded 490,143 total calls (emergency and non-emergency) in 2014, with 246,596 of those as incoming emergency 911 calls – an increase of approximately 3 percent over 2013. While celebrating successful outcomesand debriefing difficult calls with co-workers and user agencies help, Springfield-Greene County 911 is trying something new to help telecommunicators battle stress and encourage movement. Since January, many of the 70 full-time telecommunicators at Springfield-Greene County’s 911 dispatch center have been using a stationary bike designed specifically for 911 workstations. Schwartze says use of the bike is completely voluntary, but that it is in use during every shift. “I try to use the bike for 30 minutes at least once a shift,” says telecommunicator Cinnamon Fuller. “I think having the bike available contributes to an overall positive working environment … it really helps you unwind.” Schwartze says the workstation manufacturer they utilize in the Operations Room, Xybix, partnered with a fitness company, LifeSpan Fitness, to offer the bikes, which cost about $1,000 each. “What I like about the bike as opposed to a treadmill, is that I can still perform my job tasks while I’m on it and I can stop pedaling anytime I need to,” Fuller says. For more information, please call Springfield-Greene County Emergency Communications Director Zim Schwartze at 417-829-6200.