The fact that few know about the activities taking place in the lower-level area of the Weis Avenue building in Ellisville bothers him not at all and is quite understandable, he said in a recent interview.
“How many times during a typical person’s lifetime does he or she call 911?” Conroy asked. “And what’s on that person’s mind when making a 911 call? Getting the help needed to deal with an emergency situation.”
Given the infrequent experience the vast majority of people have in calling 911 and their singular focus when they do, an understanding of what goes on behind the scenes isn’t high on the priority list, Conroy acknowledged. However, since mid-November, the specific and detailed protocols that emergency dispatchers are expected to follow when they answer those calls has been Conroy’s top priority
“We have a staff of well-trained, highly qualified dispatchers here,” Conroy said. “It’s my job to take them to the next level.”
Conroy, 57, has more than 30 years of experience in St. Louis area dispatching operations, most of it at the former North Central County Fire Alarm. North Central is one of two dispatch centers that have combined with CCE in recent years, and Conroy spent almost two years at the Ellisville operation assisting with that service area expansion.
He then served two years as the fire and EMS deputy director at St. Louis County’s Bureau of Communications before returning to CCE to replace longtime executive director Mike Turner, who announced his retirement late last year.
Conroy’s local experience means he knows personally almost all the chiefs of the agencies CCE now serves.
He conceded that he is uncomfortable talking about himself, but said he and his wife are the proud parents of five and that they have 10 grandchildren. Their sports and other activities “are the highlight of my life,” he said.
“I’m not a flashy guy,” Conroy said. “I’m not here for me. I’m here for our customers and the taxpayers we serve. They [CCE’s member agencies] just want them to know they [the taxpayers] can sleep well tonight because we’ve got their back.”