San Bernardino dispatcher calls attending SOTU 'incredible honor'

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San Bernardino Police Dispatcher Annie Teall talks about attending the State of the Union address in Washington D.C. on Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2016.

Annie Teall's voice may sound familiar. Unfortunately it's for tragic reasons, as she was the dispatcher on duty during the San Bernardino terrorist attacks at the Inland Regional Center on Dec. 2.

Teall remained calm under very trying conditions.

"It's like having somebody shoot peas at you," Teall described. "You have to kind of dodge it and take in what comes as it comes. Then after about hour, hour and a half or so it does hit you at how big it has become and how you need to manage things a little bit differently."

Because of her remarkable poise, the San Bernardino Police dispatcher has been invited to attend President Barack Obama's final State of the Union address in Washington D.C.

Rep. Norma Torres from Pomona invited Teall and said she has a very special bond with her.

"As a former 911 dispatcher, you know, we're always in the background and I know exactly what it took for her to stay composed," Torres said.

Torres served as a dispatcher for the Los Angeles Police Department for 17 years and was on hand for several stressful calls.

"Through the Rodney King riots, I worked through the floods, through the earthquakes, the North Hollywood shooting," she recalled.

MORE: President Obama to reach for upbeat outlook in final State of the Union

With that experience, Torres said she personally understands how hard of a job being a dispatcher is and how important the position is to the community.

"Hearing the shots being fired, hearing people scream, and the next call could've been somebody calling from across the world asking information about what was happening," Torres said. "That's the work it takes to be a 911 dispatcher and I don't think they're recognized enough for the work that they do."

As Teall prepared to watch the address, she said it's all been an unforgettable experience.

"It's overwhelming, it's an incredible honor to be involved in being able to witness what's going on today," Teall said. "This is a bit of a jump for me and completely out of my reality, so I think that I'm just going to take in what I can and appreciate every moment."
Related Topics:
politicsstate of the unionpresident barack obamasan bernardino mass shootingsan bernardino police departmentu.s. & worldWashington D.C.
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