OPCD #SHOWUP Spotlight
OPCD is so proud and appreciative of our staff members who go above and beyond to serve the city of New Orleans that we want to share their stories. In this installment of the SHOWUP Spotlight, meet Kayla Roberts!
Kayla is currently an EMS Dispatcher. She began her rewarding career as a first responder nearly 4 years ago when she began taking academic courses that tested her skill sets and ability to stay calm while answering any emergency call.
“When I came to OPCD, I was in the first class of prospective employees who learned how to take emergency calls for every public safety agency,” said Kayla. “Everyone in my class, and future classes, knows how to handle 9-1-1 calls for any situation, whether NOPD, NOFD or EMS are needed.”
The 25-year-old made it through weeks of rigorous coursework and, after just a short time working on the call floor, found gratification in her new career. “As an emergency communication specialist, there’s always the opportunity to help save a life, but people forget we get to be there for the person asking for help and talk them through what could be the worst moment of their lives,” said Kayla.
Although call takers often experience precious moments of joy when aiding someone during their darkest moments, there are also instances of great despair when call takers are left devastated and inconsolable. “It happens, but in my spare time I like listening to music and working out to blow off steam,” said Kayla. “Before the coronavirus, I loved going to concerts which was a nice relief.”
COVID-19 has caused many changes to New Orleans. A city that is usually continuously bustling with creatives has now quieted down considerably during city-wide efforts to slow the spread of the virus.
“I’ve lived all over New Orleans my entire life but spent the majority of my time living in New Orleans East. Now I’m in a position where it is best for me and my family to stay inside most of the time, instead of out and about like before the virus,” said Kayla.
Whenever she finds herself battling whether or not she should go out, Kayla considers her part in ending the virus and being able to go on her dream vacation. “I’ve been wanting to go to Jamaica. I know it won’t be soon due to the circumstances, but I’ll keep pushing on because I know it’s in my future,” said Kayla.
Congrats on all your accomplishments, Kayla. We appreciate you and hope you do get that dream vacation you have definitely earned. #SHOWUP