GAFFNEY, S.C. (WSPA) – The Cherokee County 911 Center takes emergency calls from across the area, including the cities of Gaffney and Blacksburg.

Four operators work 12-hour shifts. The center takes about 200,000 calls a year. That breaks down to an average of 23 calls for police, firefighters or EMS every hour.

“Every call is treated the same. No matter the caller or conditions, and we have to segregate the calls out and decide how much of a response they get whether it’s fire, EMS or police.” according to 911 Director Dennis Gardner. “But every call is treated the same when the phone rings.”

A new employee to the Cherokee County 911 Center goes through about six months of training before they answer calls on their own. That includes going through the South Carolina Criminal Justice Academy. That’s where they get their training certification to become a 911 operator.