SPARTANBURG, S.C. (WSPA) – As part of National Public Safety Telecommunications week, we are highlighting the Spartanburg County 911 center and the people behind the calls.
They are our first, first-responders; which is why we are taking the time to highlight the work of telecommunicators and their efforts to keep the community safe.
From life-threatening situations to child birth, 7NEWS spoke with a few of the people behind the phone that send you help when you dial 911.
“When you call in, my motto is to get the bad guys,” said Pamela Ferguson a Spartanburg County 911 call-taker.
“I actually had a baby for a non-speaking caller. It was me and an interpreter on the phone letting a lady know that we are getting help to you,” said Kelley Stone, Spartanburg County dispatcher. “You are dealing with people sometimes on the worst day of their life. It’s bringing calm to their storm, reassuring them that help is on the way and getting the proper people to them.”
For 22 years, Pamela Ferguson has taken calls in Spartanburg County.
“I just love working with people and helping people and saving lives,” said Ferguson.
She told 7NEWS that she has responded to just about everything from armed robberies to active fires.
“Whenever you call, we hope that we can save your life as well as whoever is in the household with you,” Ferguson said.
For nearly five months, Kelly Stone has been answering calls. While she is new to the industry, she said she treats every call like it’s one of her own.
“I try to take each call as if it was my family; and I know a lot of people in this room do the same thing,” said Stone.
In Spartanburg County, call-takers and dispatchers said that while the unknown is a part of the thrill, they are always prepared for any call that comes in.
“You don’t know what you are going to get when you answer that phone. It might be, you know, someone’s grandma fell on the floor and needs help up, or it might be a shooting and these people are scared for their life,” said Stone.
This week, we thank you, telecommunicators, for picking up the phone and answering our calls.