We’re teaming up with Dignity Health Mercy & Memorial Hospitals to honor first responders who go beyond the call of duty.
It’s part of our “Kindness Behind the Shield” campaign reported on by Tabatha Mills.
The campaign is dedicated to honoring first responders for the work they do everyday, work that often gets overlooked and shouldn’t.
The first nominee is Emergency Communications Center Dispatch Supervisor Hillary Luff.
For 20 years Luff has helped people in our community.
“I really like helping people. I like knowing that we make a difference here,” said Hillary Luff.
A trait she inherited from her father, Michael Horne, a long-time Captain in the Kern County Fire Department.
A proud father the day he pinned her badge on her 20 years ago and again roughly five years ago when she was promoted to Dispatch Supervisor.
Luff’s voice is a sense of comfort and safety when comfort and safety are needed most.
“Hillary is one of the first people to take a call when people are having the worst day of their life,” said Deputy Chief John Frando, Bakersfield Fire Department.
“We hear people take their last breath. We hear mothers wake up and find their child not breathing. We have our firefighters that go into burning buildings and get hurt and we have to listen to that,” Luff said.
It’s a job few can handle, but she can.
“The thing people don’t understand about dispatchers is they only get part of the call when it comes in and they dispatch our units to go out. They don’t get to see the outcome at the end. They’re blind going in and that’s what makes it so tough. Hillary handles these calls well,” said Chief Anthony Galagaza, Bakersfield Fire Department
“For her to be able to do 20 years on the job and still love what she does, still have that compassion and be able to give back to the citizens of Bakersfield and Kern County, we’re just so thankful to have her as one of our dispatchers,” said Deputy Chief Trever Martinusen, Bakersfield Fire Department.
Hillary Luff, thank you for your “Kindness Behind the Shield.”
If you know of someone in law enforcement, a firefighter, paramedic, or dispatcher who deserves to be honored, nominate them here.