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Meet the Montana 911 dispatcher of the year

Posted at 4:07 PM, May 28, 2024

Brandon Skogen is the lead public safety communications officer for the City of Great Falls and has been working as a 911 dispatcher for 19 years. Earlier this month, Skogen was recognized as the Montana 911 dispatcher of the year.

Skogen was nominated for the award by the Great Falls Fire Rescue assistant chief, Bob Shupe.

On May 22nd, he received the recognition from Governor Greg Gianforte in the capitol building in Helena during the 50th annual National Emergency Services Week.

“It was very humbling. I'm very honored that I was selected for this, and, you know, it's nice to be recognized,” Skogen said. “But at the end of the day, that's not why we do this. We do this because we want to help people. We want to help our community. We want to be there to help the public.”

Skogen said he knew from a young age that he wanted to work with law enforcement and help make a positive impact on the community.

“I started out as a volunteer EMT, volunteer firefighter with Fort Benton where I grew up, and I started that back in about 1999, just right before I graduated high school. I did that until 2001, when I took a job with Great Falls Emergency Services as an EMT. Then in 2005, I took a job here at the 911 center as a dispatcher,” Skogen explained.

Using his past experience as an EMS provider, Skogen was able to help strengthen the 911 response system by assisting Cascade County volunteer departments create run cards for EMS and fire-based response which help crews determine what response is needed for each emergency.

“The job is rewarding because, I mean, we're helping people and that's the main focus of this job is to be able to help people. It is taxing, you know, there are calls that bother you, there's calls that don't sit well with you, but we have a great peer support system through the city,” said Skogen. “We make sure to take care of our own people and make sure that they're being taken care of as well as being able to take care of the people out in the public.”

911 dispatchers play a critical role in an incident. Skogen is a prime example of that role: “I decided early on that this is something that I wanted to pursue and wanted to do,” Skogen added.