CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — There are many Hispanic people in the Coastal Bend who work in professions that really have an impact on the community. But one profession in particular is 911 dispatchers.
Tony Martinez has been a 911 dispatcher in Corpus Christi for almost sixteen years, though he said this was not his first choice.
"My primary or first goal was to be a police officer, but I started doing this job first. When I started doing this job, I really liked it," Martinez said.
Martinez said this type of work comes with a lot of stress and anxiety, but reflecting on all the lives he has saved helps him keep going every day.
"What I do brings me satisfaction, knowing that I can help another person who is in need and knowing that I can communicate with that person makes me feel good and satisfied," Martinez said.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Hispanics represent 65% of Nueces County's population. Martinez said this is another reason why it is important to always have bilingual dispatchers on staff.
"Every second counts, being able to communicate with them in Spanish obviously helps a lot," Martinez said.
To make a difference in the community, Martinez encourages people to pursue a career as a dispatcher.
"We provide the training you need; anything is possible as long as you have the desire to do it," Martinez said.