In december 2014, Ron Hawkins, a White Bear Lake firefighter and paramedic, photographed a veteran emergency dispatcher named Wendy taking a call. Hawkins used his Fuji point-and-shoot camera to capture the photo, “911, What’s Your Emergency?,” which was taken at the White Bear Lake Public Safety Dispatch Building and took second place in the People and Families category of our Lens on the Lake contest.
Hawkins, who always has his camera handy, took the photo to highlight, recognize and salute emergency dispatch workers. “A lot of the time, paramedics, firefighters and police officers get acknowledgment, but when there’s a real emergency, the first person someone connects with is the emergency dispatchers,” Hawkins says.
The photograph pays homage to the voices on the receiving end of the calls. After Hawkins posted the image to Facebook, it generated positive response and appreciation online for the emergency dispatchers.