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Sandra Boyd has been answering your emergency calls for nearly three decades

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LUCAS COUNTY, Ohio (WNWO) - In an emergency, they are the voice on the other end of the phone getting you help. This week, 911 dispatchers and operators are being recognized for the hard work they do under pressure. It’s all part of National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week.

“My scariest call…I heard the gunshots go off,” said Sandra Boyd, a dispatcher at the Lucas County Emergency Services building.

Sandra Boyd said when she first started as a 911 dispatcher and operator, she feared the unknown of each call.

“It was a panic, a scare, I just did not know,” said Boyd.

What she quickly realized was the person on the other line needed her help.

“I try to treat each call as if it’s my own,” said Boyd.

Fast forward nearly three decades later, and Boyd is a veteran at the Lucas County Emergency Services building.

“They say the life expectancy of a 911 dispatch operator is seven years,” said Boyd. “Here I am 29 years later, I’m still here.”

Boyd said while each day is different, there is a method to the madness.

“The first thing we do is ask where is your emergency," said Boyd.

Location is key, as police or firefighters can already be nearby. Then, of course, Boyd said they find out what your emergency is.

“They truly are the first responders,” said Captain Matt Luettke, with the Lucas County Sheriff’s Office. "They are the people who take that original call for service and put us in that right direction.”

Captain Matt Luettke said the dispatch center is their line of defense out in the field, as they are in constant communication if they need more help.

Multiple agencies house in the Lucas County Emergency Services building. This includes members of the Lucas County Sheriff's Office, Toledo Police Department, Toledo Fire & Rescue Department and Lucas County EMS. The center also takes rollover calls from suburban centers that can't answer the calls immediately.

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