Steamboat Springs Faith Mendoza is here for the long haul.
The Minnesota native recently moved to Steamboat Springs to head the Routt County Communications Department.
The county has struggled in recent years to fill the position. Directors sporadically come and go, and suitable candidates are hard to find.
The role went unfilled for 18 months before Mendoza's predecessor, Janice Ling, arrived in the spring of 2001.
Ling submitted her resignation last June when she and her husband, former Oak Creek Police Chief Tom Ling, decided to leave Routt County to move closer to family in Florida.
It has taken a while for the county to find someone to fill Ling's shoes.
Mendoza is up for the challenge. She wants to buck the historical trend of short-term directors.
She will oversee the Routt County Communications Center, the hub of all communications among law enforcement agencies in the county. Seventeen men and women handle calls 24 hours a day at the center.
Burnout can come easily to those who constantly field emergency calls. It's a thankless job at times and comes with plenty of frustrations.
Directors of dispatch centers face the constant challenge of motivating their employees.
Routt County is not the only place where turnover among dispatchers is a problem, Mendoza said.
"It's such an unknown field," she said. Many people assume that police or emergency personnel handle emergency calls; they don't realize trained men and women are on the other end of the line.
Mendoza hopes to raise awareness of the Routt County Communications Center by creating a Web site for people to visit and better understand the role of dispatchers in emergency situations.
Her No. 1 priority is "getting it out to the public that yes, we (Routt County Communications) do exist."