Former Washington County Dispatcher Handled San Bernardino Shooting

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WASHINGTON COUNTY (KFSM) -- When shots were fired in San Bernardino earlier this week, emergency dispatchers found themselves in the center of responding to a mass shooting.

Dispatchers, like Marissa Havins, helped inform hundreds of responding officers.

Havins, a dispatcher in San Bernardino, once served for six years in Fayetteville.

Carla Holcroft, the Dispatch Manager at the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, said she knew it was Havins handling the situation, the second she heard her voice on the radio.

“She did awesome. I was very proud of her. I couldn’t help but to just kind of cry a little bit, because I was so proud of her. She did an outstanding job,” Holcroft said.

Holcroft waited until the situation has calmed down, before making contact with her former employee.

“She let me know that she had been working, and that is was crazy and chaotic,” Holcroft said.

Holcroft said Havins handled the situation exactly how she was trained to. Havins went through "Active Shooter Training" in Arkansas, before moving to California.

“Being calm is very important. Especially when you are dealing with officers on the other end,” Holcroft said. “Once you finally get into the zone, your training and everything just kind of takes place. You veer towards what you know what you have got to do, to make the situation as best as it can be.”

Holcroft said the shootings in San Bernardino showed training for dispatchers is important, especially In a period of time where mass shootings are becoming all-too-familiar.

“With the change in times, anything can happen,” Holcroft said. “Every day you walk in here, you never know what is going to be on the other side of the radio.”

Havins moved to California after serving in Fayetteville since 2007. Holcroft said Havins transferred to San Bernardino in order to be closer to family.

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