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In case of emergency

Stephen Martini calms a chaotic three years with Metro Department of Emergency Communications


Stephen Martini

As a young emergency dispatcher, Stephen Martini had to get one thing straight: He couldn’t save everyone. In a seven-second phone call that became a turning point in his career, a caller asked Martini to send a crew to pick him up before his children got home from school — then the caller ended his life.

“If I was under the impression that in order to do this job I had to save lives, man, I would go home depressed after that day,” Martini says. “I didn’t have the chance to [save the caller’s life], but what I did have the chance to do was bring calm to a chaotic situation, bring some order to disorder, bring some clarity to a confusing situation.”


Stephen Martini

Hannah Herner joined the Nashville Post to cover health care in 2022. She previously worked for The Contributor street paper and freelanced for the Nashville Scene.