Carter has been with Lexington city government for almost 14 years. She started with LFUGC from the beginning and is still here today. The first 11 months were in human resources, and all the remaining time is with LexCall.
In 2009, Carter first became an emergency operations center (EOC) coordinator due to her working in LexCall, the Lexington city call center. LexCall became the EOC call center during emergencies. During this time, the LexCall director and supervisor split the staff’s responsibilities of making sure the call center was staffed and equipped to respond to calls whatever the situation.
Now, as LexCall’s director, Carter makes sure that the call center is staffed during an emergency. She also serves as a two-way communication liaison between the other groups within the EOC. She also makes sure that the call takers get and distribute information and listen to public concerns.
“Coming from a customer service background, I find all facets of the Emergency Management world interesting,” said Carter. “Before being a part of the EOC, I never really considered the behind the scene logistics of assisting a whole community during an event. So many moving parts to consider. I have truly learned a lot.”
However, throughout all of the events, Carter has a lot of different favorite memories. One of her favorite memories as an EOC Coordinator is the 2009 ice storm. The electricity had been out for days, and people were getting more irritated.
“It was my first significant and most challenging event. We opened up 24/7 to assist the community,” said Carter.
The staff worked 12-hour shifts to get the power on, streets cleared, and make sure people were safe. Some people were irritated with each passing day. Some needed help more than others.
“During this event, I had an encounter with a homeless couple who was kind, patient, and hopeful,” said Carter. “They were so tolerant and accepting of the situation when they needed help in so many ways the most. Very humbling, eye-opening, and rewarding to help. An encounter, I will remember for a long-time if not forever.”
This experience happened towards the beginning of Carter becoming an EOC Coordinator, so she was still new to emergency response. However, throughout the years, Carter has been able to work with many different people to help guide her along the way. One of the most memorable people that Carter has worked with is Tim Brandewie.
“He just knows his stuff,” said Carter. “He is confident, knowledgeable, and possesses that invincible, ‘git ‘er’ done mentality.”
Something that Carter would like to see in the future for coordinators and training is to keep the pieces of training more diverse. Carter considers the various scenarios as the most significant help. As Carter says, “This world is always changing. It keeps us all thinking about what is needed in different areas.”