From telecommunicator to director: Emergency Communications Department promotes 25-year employee

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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — Springfield-Green County’s 911 Emergency Communications Department now has a new leader of the 70 dispatchers working there.

The city of Springfield says Kris Inman, the new emergency communications director, will begin running the department on May 24.

Inman joined the department in 1994 as a telecommunicator, promoted to acting supervisor/certified trainer in 1997, supervisor in 2003 and to training and education manager in 2012.

“What a spectacular opportunity this is to get to lead such a talented group of dedicated public safety professionals, particularly given my history of sitting right where they sit, doing the same job they do,” Inman said. “I’m humbled and immensely proud to become the first former dispatcher here to advance to the position of director, and I love the message it sends to our staff.”

Inman has taken calls, trained dispatchers, and everything in between for 911 in Greene County – which makes him the first person hired from within for the lead job. So he can relate to the hectic nature for his team, and the issues specific to the area.

“Things change quickly. Things change on a dime in this industry,” said Inman. “We have to be very receptive to those changes. We have to be ready and willing to change with them. Springfield Police can change something that maybe Republic Police haven’t changed, so we have to learn on the fly how to do things a certain way for one agency, and maybe a different way for another.”

The work may be challenging, but Inman says the fast pace may not even be the toughest part of the job.

“The difficulty that you sometimes have with the human side of things,” said Inman. “Our job is to keep that emotion at bay so that we can best, most efficiently help folks in their most raw time of need. I think that emotional side of it – you learn to deal with it, you learn to compartmentalize in favor of being efficient – but we’re human too.”

Inman says the current pandemic brings the challenge of keeping his employees safe in their working environment, but notes the amount of calls haven’t been much different the last few weeks.

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