Telecommunicators thanked for their hard work

ONSLOW COUNTY, NC (WITN) A bad cough, or having a hard time breathing, is reason for some people to call 9-1-1 lately. While first responders are heading to a possible COVID-19 patient, or any emergency, there's one important voice that took the initial call.

This week is National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week, recognizing 911 operators for their life-saving work.

This week comes, coincidentally, during a pandemic, which is a reminder of how important the people are who work in emergency services.​

In Onslow County they say they've seen a slight increase in their medical calls recently, but nothing major. They said the more noticeable increase has been in law enforcement responding to domestic issues, now that people are spending more time at home.

They are, however, constantly adjusting to the pandemic, asking people screening questions, to determine if they may have COVID-19.

Ray Silance, 911 call center director says, "We're constantly changing. We can't go a day with me not sending any emails out or not changing anything to the next day, we're changing four different things on what we're asking, and who we're dispatching now only because that stuff is being passed down through the CDC, so it's a constant change."

Normally, Onslow County holds a ceremony for their 911 operators, but like most events, that has been cancelled, due to COVID-19.