Know your lifeline: Jackie Chase, 911 dispatcher _lowres

Photo provided by Tiffany Taylor -- Office manager and dispatcher for East Feliciana Communications 9-1-1 Office, Jackie Chase.

The term “first responder” refers to those individuals who, in the early stages of an incident, are responsible for the protection and preservation of life, property, the environment and other types of emergencies. They face unique risks of being the first people to aid those in need of emergency services.

In coming months, we’ll highlight the first responders of East Feliciana Parish.

This month, we feature East Feliciana Communications 911 Department office manager Jackie Elizabeth Chase.

AGE: 34

HOMETOWN: Clinton

EDUCATION: A graduate of Silliman Institute in Clinton.

FAMILY: She is the mother of three girls; Ali Elizabeth, 3, and 20-month-old twins Andi Grace and Aaryn Olivia.

IN HER SPARE TIME: Chase enjoys spending time with her family and friends and playing outside with her children.

EXPERIENCE: Chase began dispatching for the East Feliciana Parish Sheriff’s Office in 2003 until she transferred to the West Feliciana Parish Sheriff’s Office in 2006. She began working part-time at the East Feliciana Communications 911 Department in September 2013 and became full-time and eventually the office manager in March 2014.

WHY DID SHE BECOME A DISPATCHER: “Growing up, I wanted to be a juvenile probation and parole officer. I always thought if I could help one out of every 10 kids, I was making a difference. When I realized college was not the path for me at that time of my life, I decided to give dispatch a try. The first day I sat down to train was the day I realized I had found my calling.

“Not only is the well-being of the citizens of and in East Feliciana Parish my main concern but the safety of the men and women in law enforcement, fire and rescue. I have always thought of myself as their lifeline to safety, and I will do whatever it takes to keep them safe.

“I love my job at EFCD not just because we are co-workers but because we are a family. We are a family that pulls together in time of need and are there for each other from the beginning to end. In August of 2014, I went through the worst time in my life, and the ladies and gentlemen huddled around me and protected me like I have never seen. They never left my side and to this day, they are still there for me. That alone says a lot about the wonderful people I work with and the people who work for you.”