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ECC: in case of emergency

Photo of Airmen

Staff Sgt. James Willett, Civil Engineer Squadron Emergency Communications Center NCO in charge, uses the touch screen computer to quickly make a phone call, June 8, 2021 at Malmstrom Air Force Base, Mont. Willett is responsible for maintaining equipment and programs, such as the one seen here, to keep the ECC operational. (U.S. Air Force photo by Lauren O’Connor)

Photo of Airmen

From left, Staff Sgt. Luis Gonzalez, 341st Civil Engineer Squadron Emergency Communications Center fire officer; Staff Sgt. Lakisha Hill, 341st Security Forces Squadron Base Defense Operations Center controller; and Staff Sgt. James Willet, 341st CES ECC NCO in charge, pose for a group photo June 8, 2021 at Malmstrom Air Force Base, Mont. The ECC team work together to quickly respond and dispatch the appropriate agencies to emergency situations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Lauren O’Connor)

Photo of Airmen

Staff Sgt. Lakisha Hill, 341st Security Forces Squadron Base Defense Operations Center controller, fills out the daily blotter, June 8, 2021 at Malmstrom Air Force Base, Mont. The BDOC controller is responsible for monitoring security systems on base facilities as well as dispatching security forces patrols in response to emergencies. She is also responsible for documenting and relaying that information to base leadership. (U.S. Air Force photo by Lauren O’Connor)

Photo of Airmen

Staff Sgt. Luis Gonzalez, 341st Civil Engineer Squadron Emergency Communications Center fire officer, responds to a fire alarm at Malmstrom Air Force Base, Mont., June 8, 2021. Gonzalez serves as the base emergency call operator for fire and medical services. (U.S. Air Force photo by Lauren O’Connor)

Photo of Airmen

Staff Sgt. Luis Gonzalez, 341st Civil Engineer Squadron Emergency Communications Center fire officer, answers the emergency phone line June 8, 2021 at Malmstrom Air Force Base, Mont. Gonzalez answers emergency calls, determines the nature of the emergency and dispatches the correct fire or medical response teams. For emergencies requiring law enforcement, Gonzalez transfers the call to the Base Defense Operations Center controller, also located in the ECC. (U.S. Air Force photo by Lauren O’Connor)

Photo of Airmen

Staff Sgt. James Willett, Civil Engineer Squadron Emergency Communications Center NCO in charge, checks the alarm notifications systems operability at Malmstrom Air Force Base, Mont., June 8, 2021. Willett is responsible for maintaining the ECC’s $5 million equipment inventory and keeping the ECC running smoothly. (U.S. Air Force photo by Lauren O’Connor)

Photo of Airmen

Senior Airman Kaitlin Blackmore, 341st Security Forces Squadron Emergency Communications Center local display area operator, and Staff Sgt. Lakisha Hill, 341st SFS Base Defense Operations Center controller, monitor security alarm notifications June 8, 2021 at Malmstrom Air Force Base, Mont. The BDOC team is able to view and respond to security breaches and facility alarm notifications instantaneously. (U.S. Air Force photo by Lauren O’Connor)

MALMSTROM AIR FORCE BASE, Mont. -- If an emergency happens on base, who do you call? Meet the Emergency Communications Center Airmen.

The team consists of the fire officer, Base Defense Operations Center controller, and ECC NCO in charge who work together to quickly respond to emergency situations.

Staff Sgt. Luis Gonzalez, 341st Civil Engineer Squadron ECC fire officer, works as the base 9-1-1 operator. He answers the emergency calls, determines the nature of the emergency and dispatches the correct fire or medical response teams.

“I’m responsible for getting help to the people who call,” said Gonzalez. “It’s my job to stay calm, assess the nature of the emergency and send the right people out.”

Gonzalez keeps track of the emergency call until the situation is resolved, monitoring the response teams on his computer.

“It can be hard,” said Gonzalez. “I’ve taken some upsetting calls but I have to stay calm and help. When I look back at some of those calls, I know I made a difference. I helped save lives and I’m proud of that.”

Staff Sgt. Lakisha Hill, 341st SFS BDOC controller, provides command and control during routine and emergency operations. She is responsible for monitoring security systems on base facilities as well as dispatching security forces patrols to emergencies.

“Communication is everything in the ECC,” said Hill. “We need to effectively communicate with each other, our callers and our emergency responders.”
Hill also communicates with Malmstrom helping agencies and local community partners to make sure the right resources are available when needed.

“We work with Montana Highway Patrol, Cascade County Sheriff’s Department, Child Protective Services, and base helping agencies like family advocacy or the SARC,” said Hill. “It’s important for us to maintain those relationships so that we can better help people.”

Staff Sgt. James Willett, 341st CES ECC NCO in charge, is responsible for keeping the ECC operational.

This includes tasks like overseeing access to pertinent programs, ensuring operating instructions compliance, and keeping the equipment running smoothly.

“It’s my job to make sure Hill and Gonzalez have the tools to do their jobs,” said Willett. “In the ECC, people’s lives can be on the line and it’s our responsibility to get them help. It can be really challenging, but it’s also rewarding.”

If you experience and emergency on or off base, call 9-1-1 and follow the operator’s instructions.
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