The Last Of The Beginning Has LeftRickey Stokes
Posted by: RStokes
Date: Sep 05 2012 3:40 PM
DOTHAN – HOUSTON COUNTY: The last of the beginning has now left.
This past Friday Rhonda Freeman celebrated her retirement as a City of Dothan employee which was paid for in full by Dothan – Houston County E-911.
Decades ago former Dothan Mayor Alfred Saliba and former Houston County Commission Chairman Robert Crowder got together and negotiated the Dothan – Houston County E-911 makeup.
One of the original persons hired was Rhonda Freeman. Her position was a Data System Specialist. The responsibility was to manage the addressing for the system, enter the data and maintain the data. Daily, Rhonda kept a dialogue with telephone service providers when changes were made. It was her duty to make sure when someone called 911 the information that came up on the computer screens were correct.
Over the years not many people knew who Rhonda was or what she did. However when the developer of the software used for 911 returned to Dothan – Houston County for training, after 25 years, it was obvious who and want Rhonda Freeman did.
The software developer was amazed at how the system data had been maintained. The software developer says most systems are set up initially but not maintained.
The advantage the people of Dothan – Houston County had with Rhonda Freeman. She started as a volunteer emergency service provider with the Town of Columbia. She had experience of being the emergency service provider on the street looking for an address to render aid. Rhonda Freeman knew first hand the frustration when responding to someone not breathing and the address could not be found.
With that training and dedication before taking the job, Rhonda Freeman did not just follow her job description. She continually went above and beyond to make sure all of the information needed for emergency responders was in the system, accurately.
On Friday we have lost the last of the persons on hand with 911 when it started. The knowledge and expertise she had, the dedication in doing the job right, has aided in saving many a lives over the years.
The public always hears about the fireman who responded to the scene and performed life saving measures, the officer that saved someone from a burning home, saved a person being robbed or apprehended suspects in a robbery.
Often times the credit the fireman or law enforcement officers get, which is often time deserved, is as a result of people like Rhonda Freeman and the communications officers in the system.
Rhonda Freeman has saved lives in her years as a Data System Specialists for Dothan – Houston County E -911. Her dedication and making sure it was right made sure the caller got the emergency service needed on time and in the right place.
Thank you Rhonda and good luck in your retirement.
While Dothan - Houston County E-911 pays the salary and benefits, the employee is considered an employee of the City of Dothan Police Department. The position is to serve all of the citizens of Dothan and Houston County. Dothan Police Chief Greg Benton has hired someone to begin as Data System Specialists.
The bad problem is they waited until after Rhonda has left the City of Dothan before the employment of the new Data Systems Specialists. He job is unique and the new person does not have the benefit of being trained by Rhonda before assuming the duties.