Below is an article originally written by Michelle Cahn at PowerToFly Partner RapidSOS, and published on January 2, 2018. Go to RapidSOS's page on PowerToFly to see their open positions and learn more.
Today we are excited to welcome Karin Marquez to our Public Safety team! Karin has spent 20+ years working in public safety and will contribute invaluable knowledge and expertise to RapidSOS as we work to expand our NG911 Clearinghouse integrations to get precise location into 9-1-1 systems nationwide.
Read on to learn more about Karin's experience, what led her to RapidSOS, and what she is most excited for in the months to come.
Q: What led you to RapidSOS?
A: This whole process was quite unplanned, but when I had the chance to interview I was so excited. I have known about this company since they started and was one of those 9-1-1 professionals that gave them the "what-for" on the Haven app. Over the years, I've watched RapidSOS work in the public safety industry – learning, listening and working with industry experts with a clear passion for making a positive change in 9-1-1.
The RapidSOS team is so welcoming and encouraging and just talking to each of them felt right. By talking to the team, I was able to learn how RapidSOS started because of personal experiences with the challenges locating mobile 9-1-1 calls. This made me feel like the mission and goal of this company is something I can get behind and feel good about the work I'm doing.
Q: Why did you decide to work in Public Safety?
A: Funny story actually, my sister was a dispatcher in a 1 man dispatch center and I had just graduated from high school. I would call her every now and then and see if she needed food or a coffee and stop by and visit with her. If she had to go to the bathroom, she would have to call an officer in from the road... well with 2-3 officers there wasn't always someone to come in and relieve her. Since I was there she would say, just answer the phone, write everything down and if an officer talks, answer them and write it down. She'd run and come back as soon as she could and I had it all handled. I ended up getting a job as a records tech at the County jail and one day she said why don't you apply, we're hiring. I applied, got the job, had 3 weeks of training and have now dispatched for just under 21 years.
Q: What is the coolest job you have ever had?
A: Honestly, dispatching has been the coolest job I have ever had. Nothing compares to the adrenaline rush you get while handling emergencies. Not everyone has the opportunity to be there for someone in crisis – during loss of a family member, for an officer during a chase, or with Fire/EMS on a working structure fire. Not every day or every call is like that, but for so many years I got to be on the other end, the one giving instructions, advice, a shoulder, and the one sending help when they needed it most.
Q: What are you most looking forward to in the coming months at RapidSOS?
A: I am so excited to learn and grow and be challenged in a new area. I learned as a supervisor for 14 years that I love technology and love to learn how things work. I'm fascinated with understanding how the 9-1-1 call travels through the network and now with NextGen and more data available, I am excited to be involved with implementations through various integrations. I'm thrilled to bring my experience to RapidSOS and help citizens, dispatchers and responders in a whole new way!
Q: When you have free time, what are you doing?
A: The family and I are generally out trying a new restaurant somewhere. I'm kind of a foodie and love trying new places (and drinking coffee!). My husband and I also love Salsa dancing and going to salsa events, and on Sundays you can generally find me greeting people coming into church.