CAMDEN COUNTY, Mo — Lake season is quickly approaching, and a lot goes in to keeping families safe around water. But when emergencies do happen it all begins with a 9-1-1 call.
Linda Clemons manages that group of dispatchers: She’s the steady current in the waves of life.
“There wouldn’t be calls if we weren’t here to take them,” said Linda Clemons, Assistant 911 Director Camden County.
13,000 square miles of lake — 5,000 roads — 2 large municipalities — and 6 fire departments.
“We have around 14-15 thousand permanent residents, but can fluctuate to 100-200 thousand on any given weekend,” said Clemons.
That’s average for this highly trained group of dispatchers in Camden County.
911 Assistant Director Linda Clemons says that perseverance has carried her through 19 years of serving the public around the Lake of the Ozarks.
However nothing, not even the most hectic calls, could prepare her a diagnosis of Stage 2 breast cancer.
“That was a challenge. I was diagnosed and went through chemo and radiation. I only missed 9 weeks of work during the whole thing.”
She underwent surgery in July of 2012, and returned to work that October.
“Even when I was in the hospital they were there. They’ve been through everything with me. You can’t ask for a better family.”
Lt. Arlyne Page with the Camden County Sheriff’s Office can’t speak highly enough of her. “She makes women feel empowered from all over. She is a phenomenal lady.”
Clemons continued, “there isn’t anything you can’t beat if you’ve been through something like that. There isn’t. You just keep a positive attitude and bulldoze through and get it done. That’s the way I was raised. You didn’t lay down and ‘oh, woe is me.” You just go on about your business and that’s what I did. But I had good support. We are just a big family. We are dysfunctional, but we are a big family.”
Linda says that she still sees her oncologist every 6 months and undergoes tests, however feels great and doesn’t see herself leaving Camden County any time soon.