Veteran Central Dispatch operator Donnie Davis is calling it a career

TOP PHOTO: Donnie Davis’ red Jeep won’t be occupying a spot in the Central Dispatch Center’s parking lot any more after Tuesday.

Donnie Davis has spent a shade more than 27 years behind the mic for Campbell County 911.

LAFOLLETTE, TN (WLAF) – Six year old Zolton Stewart’s been counting down the days to his Papaw’s retirement day. ‘Yep, he’s been counting down the days with me,” said Donnie Davis of Zolton, the youngest of his five grandchildren.

On Tuesday afternoon at two o’clock, Davis finally becomes a fulltime grandfather. He does have some experience, so he won’t be totally new to it. Though he’s anxious to hone his skills and so is Zolton.

Davis is one of the original four hires when Central Dispatch, the 9-1-1 Center, officially opened in 1996. The laid back grandfather of five says he’s ready to move on to some of life’s other adventures; hunting, fishing and catching up around the house. “There’s a list waiting for me at home,” laughed Davis.

For about 20 years of his career, Davis worked the second shift, 2:30pm to 10:30pm. “That was a good shift for me, and I enjoyed it,” said Davis.

The job has changed so much over the years, namely from 15-20 calls a shift to 90 to a hundred, according to Donnie Davis. “There are still those satisfying calls,” said Davis.

“He’s the last of two of the four original 911 hires. There’s Donnie and me left after Charlie Hutson and Casey Wilhoit retired,” said Kamille Bond, Director of 911. Susan Finley, who is still on staff, started just a few months after the original four signed on.

Davis, also a paramedic, is quite the people person always helping someone whether it be at 911 or on a call volunteering with the La Follette Rescue Squad or Campbell County Rural Fire Service. “I really like being able to help people,” said Davis. He’s logged 47 years with the squad and fire service.

Donnie’s always been the calm one, the calm voice behind the radio,” said Kamille Bond, Director of 911.

Since first starting as a dispatcher, one of Davis’ on air calling cards is occasionally addressing an officer by their first name on the air. He’ll throw in a sarge or a captain here in there as well.

“I’ll miss my co-workers and working with people in general. However, I’m really looking forward to being a fulltime papaw,” said Davis.

Best to you, Donnie, from all of us here at WLAF! (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 02/26/2024-6AM)

5 Replies to “Last call for Davis will be sometime Tuesday after lunch”

  1. Donnie is one of the greatest people that I’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing. Congratulations Donnie

  2. I always looked
    Forward to hearing Donnie’s voice and I most of time would call him with some sort of sentence to make everyone laugh of course he would fire it back, Donnie it’s been a pleasure working with you and it won’t be the same without you being there, your one of a kind

  3. One of my very best dispatchers. You’ve helped me more than once to maneuver through these crazy roads. Thanks for everything you’ve done down through the years. We’ll sure miss you Donnie!!! We love you. Enjoy retirement!!!🤩

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