SPARTANBURG, S.C. (WSPA) – Krysta Cook took an unusual route to become a now decorated 911 operator for Spartanburg County.

“It’s always been hard for a person of my stature to find a job,” Cook tells us, “so I’ve always been looking for things, related to receptionist-type things, answering phones, using computers.”

Cook grew up in Chesnee and got an interview for the job in 2016. Actually, someone else set up the interview.

“As ridiculous as it sounds, I honestly didn’t even know there had been an application put it. My mother decided to do it herself. I woke up one day and, ‘guess what? You have an interview.'”

Moms do know best.

Cook went through weeks and months of training and preparation before she was able to take emergency calls on her own. She has heard calls that no dispatcher could ever forget.

“One call that’s always stuck with me is I remember the first person who died on the phone with me. It makes you think in some of these cases you might literally be the last person they ever speak to,” Cook tells 7NEWS.

She’s also been on the line with an expectant father who couldn’t get his pregnant wife to the hospital in time. “About the time I told him to get his wife to lay down, I did hear a baby crying. I asked him, ‘sir, is that the child?’ Yes, mam. Well, all right. Tie the cord, wrap it up and you’re done.”

Cook was named the Spartanburg County Telecommunicator of the Year in 2022.