Anne-Liis Taalmann

Head of North-Estonia’s Emergency Response Centre
Estonia

“It’s a privilege to have job that actually matters, is needed and helps people.

My greatest inspiration comes from my team, when we have solved a complex, difficult case successfully and we have put the best of our knowledge and competence into practice.  And by doing so saved someone’s life. I was inspired by a very difficult case with a suicidal man at the railway. My people were able to change his mind. It was emotionally very difficult but made me very proud that my team was able to solve this successfully and the life of this man was saved.

Accidents and violence where children are involved are always emotionally hardest to get over and they haunt you the longest. It is important to provide call takers ways to unload the stress and worries that come with this job. Emotional burn out can come very easily. It’s not a job where you just sit in a warm room and answer phone calls. Call takers need constantly to make sure that they understand what happens at that moment in society, they need wide range of knowledge. And it is emotionally a very tough job.

I still remember a case where a bus did not stop when a group of kindergarten children crossed the road. Many children got hurt and one needed resuscitation. I tried my hardest to convince the teacher to start the child’s resuscitation, but unfortunately, I was unsuccessful. It still troubles me, but I am glad that by now there have been many campaigns for teaching people to learn resuscitation. It is a very necessary skill to have.

 As we have very tight team, I know that the most important and quickest support to call takers comes from their team members. During my many years working in Emergency Response Centre I have realised that the ability to maintain one’s sense of humour in hard times is one of the key factors to survive. It’s also important to me to make sure that we also have enough inspirational events with my team.”

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