FARMINGTON — Carold “CL” Folsom of Salem Township grew up in Monmouth and graduated from Monmouth Academy in 1986.

When things didn’t go as initially planned to go into law enforcement, he entered the social service field after he met his wife Julie. The couple will be married 25 years on Monday, Sept. 17. 

“We have no kids, just dogs,” Folsom said.

He tried his hand at running his own business and taking a part-time job. It was when he took a second part-time job at Sugarloaf ski area that he met then-Carrabassett Valley Police Chief Ron Moody and got a job as a dispatcher.

Folsom realized he liked the job and had a talent for it. He also became a reserve police officer.

He is now the director of communications at Franklin County Regional Communications Center.

Name: Carold “CL” Folsom

Town: Salem Township

Age: 50

Job: Director of Communications, Franklin County Regional Communications Center

How did you decide emergency dispatching would be the career you would follow? I wanted to be a police officer when I was growing up. I went to school and got an associate’s degree in law enforcement in 1988 from what was Southern Maine Vocational Technical Institute, today it is Southern Maine Community College. I got out of college and applied to some departments and went to interviews. I will admit I was young and definitely did not interview well, usually very nervous. I met my wife in 1989, we dated and she went into the social service field. I followed her down that path for a number of years. I had my own business for a few years and had a part-time job to make ends meet. The business was not generating the income needed to buy the building we were in and we lost our lease. So I picked up a second part-time job at Sugarloaf. It was there I met the police chief, Ron Moody. I went to work for Ron in 2006 as a dispatcher. That was when I realized I liked the job and had a talent for it. Ron left and Scott Nichols became the chief. It was under Scott that I became the dispatch supervisor in 2008. I also became a reserve police officer in 2009 and remain one today. Scott became the sheriff and Mark Lopez became the chief of Carrabassett Valley. Under Mark there were some budget cutbacks and that included the supervisory position. I was the supervisor until January 2018. I went back to being a dispatcher until July of this year when former director Stan Wheeler decided to retire (thanks Stan). I applied and got the job.

What is the most difficult situation to dispatch? Any time a family, friend or co-worker is involved in the emergency. It has or will happen to every dispatcher during their career.

What goes into keeping calm during an emergency? It takes a certain personality to start, and I got mine from my dad. He has the patience of a saint. It is then through time and repetition that you become the calm voice on the phone.

Why were you interested taking on more responsibility and becoming communications director of the county-wide dispatch system? I hope this does not sound conceited, I do my best work when I am challenged. This job definitely presents me challenges every day. I try not to get overwhelmed — notice I said try — and just keep working away at any obstacle presented to me. I keep a “punch list” and try to get to the bottom of it. I have not found the bottom yet; maybe someday.

Are there any personal steps you take to keep on top of your emergency dispatching skills? Dispatching at Carrabassett was quite different from dispatching here. I am actually finishing up multiple trainings at the Maine Criminal Justice Academy to allow me to jump in the mix here when it gets busy. I will say that the team that I have in place here is amazing. Not a day goes by when I don’t think that I am very lucky for the employees that I have. Thank you to my supervisors Tom and Kyle, and day and night dispatchers: Tyler, Dawn, Jeanine, Dean, Penny, Diane, Levi and Kit.

Carold “CL” Folsom of Salem Township is the director of the Franklin County Regional Communications Center in Farmington. (Submitted Photo) 

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