SPARTANBURG, S.C. (WSPA)- Spartanburg County is looking for 911 operators amid a growing need for dispatchers.

911 operators are the first people someone talks to when they dial in for help. It’s a vital role that is in dire need of being filled in the county.

While the Nation faces the same shortage, Spartanburg County has 16 positions ready to be filled.

911 communications takes calls 24/7, 365 days a year which makes the shortage even more challenging.

Spartanburg County 911 Assistant Training Coordinator Tristan Parker said it has been a challenge for them during this shortage, but others have stepped up to keep the services running.

There is a list of qualifications that need to be met including: having a high school diploma or equivalent, passing a vision, hearing and psychological test, and also passing a criminal background check.

Parker said operators need to have the same amount of compassion, composure and urgency for every call they take.

“We are looking for people who want to be here and want to do good in the world.”

“We’re that thin gold line that’s behind the scenes,” said Parker. “It’s the worst time someone is calling us and we’re dispatching all the allocated resources to them.”

Operators take a wide range of calls every day and night which can be stressful.

“We’re looking for good communicators,” said Parker. “People who can remain calm in stressful situations.”

Since calls come in 24/7 all operators are required to work a night shift at some point, but Parker said there are plenty of overtime opportunities as well.

Anyone interested can visit Spartanburg County’s website for more information.