SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Springfield officials welcomed a group of new emergency communications graduates on Thursday.

The graduates will get on-the-job training as they embark on their careers of service to city residents. 22News attended the graduating class of dispatchers who will be working to ensure the safety of city residents.

City officials, including Fire Commissioner B.J. Calvi, congratulated five new emergency communication graduates at the Emergency Dispatch center on Roosevelt Ave. in Springfield. These new dispatcher trainees will now be taking live calls, with the help of a suprvisor for the next 6 to 10 weeks. This is to make sure they are ready to answer calls from residents, assess emergency situations, and ask important questions to determine the kind of help callers need.

“They have a great opportunity to save lives at every single phone call they take. It’s really really important. All this training we’ve put in, they’ve put it to use,” said Zygmont Szczawinski, Training Coordinator at Springfield Emergency Dispatch.

The Springfield Emergency Communications Department is working to get new computer systems, which will ultimately cut down on response times.

These communication upgrades are coming at a great time because Springfield is the second busiest call center outside of Boston. Graduate Brooke LaFlamme has some experience as a dispatcher but is now looking forward to using her skills in a bigger city and speaks to the important role a dispatcher has when it comes to emergency response.

“We kind of get the first eyes on the scene before the officers get there. We’re able to not only protect the community but protect the officers as well and kind of give them an idea of what they are walking into,” said Brooke LaFlamme, emergency communication graduate.

The City of Springfield is always hiring staff for emergency communications and is looking for people who like to take charge and help the community. For careers in Springfield visit the job opportunities available online.