Nancy Fender
Nancy Fender

Nancy Fender – First Responder in Kingsport

Her job is to get help to the citizens of Kingsport when they need it most.

Nancy Fender is the communications supervisor for the City of Kingsport. She leads the team of 18 dispatchers that respond to all 911 calls. Nancy makes sure emergency responders and residents get critical information during an emergency.

Nancy oversees the department that encourages the citizens of Kingsport to feel safe and protected, but her job entails much more than that. Her responsibilities include training operators, troubleshooting technology and keeping detailed operator call records. She works as city liaison to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, informing them of statewide issues and concerns. Nancy is always working to make the city a safer place.

Over 29 years with this department, Nancy has witnessed a lot of changes take place. She could recall one change in particular that lead to the most memorable moment in her career.

“In 1991, dispatch decided to start training responders on what to do during basic medical emergency situations,” explained Nancy. “This new training gave us the ability to help callers with CPR or emergency first aid instructions until paramedics got onto the scene.”

Two weeks after completing her training, Nancy took a call that would put her training into action – a woman was giving birth and needed help.

“After asking a few questions it became clear that the birth was happening immediately,” recalled Nancy. She stayed on the phone with the woman, gave her instructions and helped ensure her daughter and new grandson made it safely through the birth.

“I’ll never forget that experience. I helped bring a new life into the world, and probably saved the mother’s life in the process.”

To everyone she works with, Nancy’s pride and commitment to her position in the city is obvious. Her leadership, dedication, and compassion have earned her statewide recognition. Her outstanding work has earned her the award for the Telecommunications Supervisor of the Year for the state of Tennessee. Nancy goes ‘above and beyond’ her duties to help the people of Kingsport whenever she can.

Nancy Fender is one of many emergency dispatchers all over the country who work tirelessly to help people around them. In recognition of their efforts, April 9 – 15 is National Public Safety Telecommunications Week.

This weeklong period is a time to celebrate and thank people who dedicate their lives to serving the public, like Nancy. To find out more about National Public Safety Telecommunications Week, please visit