New Central Florida 911 dispatcher keeping family legacy alive after losing dad in tragedy

A new 911 dispatcher in Indialantic is taking tragedy and turning it into purpose.

Victoria Emory found her dad dead, when she was just 16-years-old. The experience changed her life forever, and now she’s keeping her father’s legacy alive through her work.

Sitting in the 911 dispatch chair now, Victoria is always thinking about the one who sat there before her.

"There’s other times I’m sitting here and I turn around, and I see the angel wings and the 20 above the door, and I say oh that’s right," said the new dispatcher. 

The memorial she referenced sits just above the door in the dispatch center and was hung there for her dad, Donald, who spent his life in public service.

His final stop doing dispatch was at the Indialantic police department.

"He worked for me until 2020 when he unfortunately, he passed away unexpectedly. He had some complications from a medical procedure that he had," said Michael Connor, Indialantic’s police chief. 

Connor says, Victoria’s dad died she was a teenager, and she was the one who found him unresponsive, immediately calling 911. 

That experience changed everything for the now 20-year-old.

"Even in me being belligerent, the person was constantly being like – hey, I am still here. Giving me check ins of how far away units were. That really did make a difference," said Victoria. 

Victoria always thought she’d be an EMT but ended up finding her purpose in dispatch.

"It’s the calm in the chaos," she said. 

That mindset took tragedy and turned it into a lasting legacy for her late father. 

"They’re in the same uniform, the same backdrop, and they’re doing the same thing, and my heart really swells that she’s able to continue that in his footsteps and that legacy," said the chief. 

Her father may not be here anymore, but he’s always with his daughter in the dispatch room and in her heart to serve others the same way he did.

"He was very willing to serve and be there for everything," concluded Victoria. 

Victoria is in training right now and should be ready for full-time dispatch for the city in the next few months.