UNION (WSPA) – 911 dispatchers are the FIRST first responders.

Union County emergency dispatchers — like similar agencies across the Carolinas and the nation — are the voice you count on hearing at the other end of the line during an emergency.

“It all starts with us,” Union County 911 Training Officer Nikia Brannon, said. “Answering that phone when you call 911, and us sending out responders to help in any way we can.”

Brannon said Union County 911 answers approximately 1,000 calls per week. Sometimes those calls involved the dispatchers giving directions, such as how to perform CPR, before the first responders arrive on scene.

“It’s challenging because it’s not hands on,” Brannon explained. “We can’t really see. We can only visualize what the situation looks like, so just trying to visualize where they are and on scene to give those instructions to a third party. It can get a little iffy there, just making sure they’re following the steps of CPR.”