There's never a dull moment in the Tasmania Police radio room.
The officers and civilians who make up Radio Dispatch Services, also known as the radio room, field triple zero calls, switchboard calls, after-hour media inquiries and the non-emergency police number 131 444.
As well as taking hundreds of calls each shift, they're also monitoring multiple screens, keeping in close contact with officers on the police radio and delegating resources as necessary, making them possibly the best multi-taskers on the planet.
Tasmania Police Sergeant Nick Cooper has spent 10 of his past 23 years in the force in the radio room.
"The thing that people find hardest to grasp when they start working in Radio Dispatch Services is the ability to multi-task. That is, taking phone calls whilst listening out for the radios on multiple channels and dispatching incidents," he said.
IN OTHER NEWS
Having empathy, being approachable and drawing from a variety of life experiences were three important characteristics that Sergeant Cooper said made his personality suited to the radio room.
"Working here gives you an appreciation of dealing with different resources," he said.
One of seven siblings, Sergeant Cooper was inspired to join the force as an 18-year-old, following in the shoes of his brother and sister.
"They've since resigned and gone to other jobs, but that was my motivation," he said.
Over the years Sergeant Cooper has worked in Launceston uniform, Glenorchy station, Bellerive station, Clarence Plains station, Bridgewater station, the crime management unit and community relations, but he keeps landing back at the radio room.
"The thing I like about it is that every day is different, you never know what is going to happen," he said.
"The Hobart people deal with the Hobart jobs, Glenorchy people with Glenorchy jobs, but we deal with all of them even though we aren't attending."
IN OTHER NEWS
During a tour of the radio room on a wet and windy Friday night in August, it was easy to see how diverse and demanding the work could be.
There's an undeniable sense of calm and precision in the room as Sergeant Cooper explains the often intense role of the police officers and civilians who take the community's emergency calls.
"Quite often when people ring here they're in an elevated state," he said.
"[It's] all about making sure we've got the right information to provide to the guys on the road. It's basically so they aren't going in blind to a job."
An evade is called in, with officers rapidly but meticulously discussing the necessary response required.
Road spikes were briefly considered, but they're deemed too dangerous in the wet conditions.
Police eventually catch up with four of the five occupants after they crashed through someone's fence and attempted to flee on foot.
It's safe to say that was the end of their Friday night.
As the job fizzled down, Sergeant Cooper spoke about some of the most significant calls to come through while he was on shift.
It was Anzac Day in 2006, a relatively normal shift until someone approached Sergeant Cooper and said two men named Todd Russell and Brant Webb were stuck down a mine.
"I was like 'far out'," Sergeant Cooper said.
"You aren't expected to be an expert in everything and obviously there's no manual up here on mining.
"It's a matter of getting the right amount of resources and contacting the right people."
Sergeant Cooper said it was a similar situation when calls about the 2013 Dunalley bushfire came in.
"Your priorities are protecting life and property," he said.
While on shift on September 4, 2006, Sergeant Cooper received a fax from Queensland about Steve Irwin's death.
Mr Irwin's wife Terri was in Tasmania at the time the news broke, with Sergeant Cooper organising units to go to her location.
Sergeant Cooper said there was a great deal of camaraderie in the radio room, likening it to the Big Brother house.
"You all need to get on if you're going to be in the same room together for that period," he said.
Shifts in the radio room are nine hours and work across a 24/7 roster.
Not all calls carry the same level of intensity, with the occasional light-hearted and sometimes bizarre calls coming through.
Sergeant Cooper laughs as he recalls the time sheep called for help.
"Once there was a triple zero call from one of the islands where a flock of sheep had walked into a house, knocked the receiver off and called triple zero," he said.
Another caller reported hearing a woman screaming, but it turned out to be an elderly couple watching an episode of Law & Order with the volume turned up very loud.
"I think because of the stressful nature it can be, you do need to have a bit of levity when you can, so you can walk out and not be all stressed when you go home."
Sergeant Cooper has been happily married for almost 19 years to Catherine, something he believes plays a big role in having a positive work-life balance.