The Calm Voice In Crises



Friday morning, July 22, from the traffic on the scanner, the world sounded like it was coming apart at the seams.

The Edge Fire had closed both the north and southbound lanes of Highway 87 between Payson and Phoenix. The fire had also closed Highway 188 to Roosevelt Lake and Globe.


Kay Davis

Then there was a serious rollover accident near Rye, requiring both the jaws of life and a request for a helicopter transport.

Law enforcement patrols were already stretched thin with the fire. The road closures and the accident turned a complicated situation into a confusing one.

But through it all, the voices of dispatchers were calm, collected and helped keep the chaos from escalating into a crisis.

Kay Davis was one of the dispatchers on duty that day for the Payson Police Department.

"It was one of the craziest days to date," Davis said.

Davis has been a PPD dispatcher since February 2000, and has made her home in Payson since October 1997.

Before coming to Payson, she worked for the Federal Mogul Corporation, a manufacturer of car, truck and engine parts.

"Federal Mogul closed its call center in Phoenix, so it was a good opportunity to move into something else and relocate," Davis said.

"I wanted to do something different, a challenge. I wanted to do something for others and make a difference," she said of her career change.

Davis said the people in the department are like family to her and she enjoys talking on the phone.

"I'm a people person. It's nice to be able to try and solve the problems," she said.

The biggest challenge of the job is avoiding mistakes.

"There is no room for error in this job, but everyone is human and mistakes will be made."

She said a good day is when you get through a shift without a civilian or officer injury.

In her off time she enjoys reading romantic suspense novels, scrapbooking, staying active as a Payson Optimists member and spending time with her godson, the son of PPD Sgt. Todd Bramlet.

"I wouldn't do her job," Bramlet said with admiration.

"She has the best ear and she's the one we take all our secrets to," said fellow dispatcher Sheila Boerst.


Name: Kay Davis

Occupation: Dispatcher

Employer: Payson Police Department

Age: 52

Birthplace: Dumas, Ark.

Family: Son in Indiana; parents in Chandler and Heber; two sisters in the Valley; a brother in Show Low.

Personal motto: To be honest and trustworthy ... To be the best that I can be and give the most that I have.

Inspiration: Family and friends.

Greatest feat: Surviving 52 years of what life put in front of me.

Favorite hobby or leisure activity: Scrapbooking and reading.

Three words that describe me best are ... Fun, loyal and optimistic.

I don't want to brag but ... My son is getting married in October and there is still an opportunity for being a grandma.

The person in history I'd most like to meet is: Oprah Winfrey and/or Dr. Phil.

Luxury defined: A brand-new, fully loaded, full-size Dodge extended cab pickup.

Dream vacation spot: A cruise to the Bahamas.

Why Payson? Payson is beautiful, serene and has lots of nature around it. It's a small town.

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