Leon Corbin says that he wishes there was no need for a 911 emergency communications center.
“My prayer is that we wouldn’t need a 911 center, that people would just get along,” said the assistant communications officer supervisor at the Richmond Department of Emergency Communications (DEC). “But until that day comes, we’ll be here.”
A city of Richmond employee since 1998, Corbin came to the DEC as an emergency communications officer in 2006, and was promoted to an assistant communications officer supervisor in 2014. He has been chosen as DEC’s “#I Am Richmond 911” honoree for May 2019.
Corbin works 12-hour shifts, making sure that DEC’s high standards of customer service are being met, so that those who call for service are getting the help they need.
“We’re a bunch of people just like you whose purpose is to serve you. People outside of here feel that we’re some kind of superhuman. But we’re just like you, we’re trained to answer the call for help and dispatch first responders.”
Corbin feels that answering the call for help is more than just his job.
“God put us here to help people when they call. Not every day is perfect, but it’s the intrinsic value of helping people — and they’re all God’s people. You’re not always going to get rewards and accolades, but I know that I am doing what God would have me to do. When you call, just know that I’m sending help, but I’m praying for you, too.”
Outside of the DEC, Corbin enjoys helping and inspiring others, by serving as a youth minister at New Canaan Worship Center in Richmond. He and his wife, Latasha, lead Sunday school, Bible study and children’s church, as well as organize the youth to participate in other church programs, including helping to feed the homeless and participating in community walks. Each year, they organize a youth revival also.
“The youth are the future of the church, the community and everything we do. My hope is to give them guidance and show them an example. It’s good to see kids who grow up and come into their own and continue to serve others. It’s part of how I inspire them.”