'911, CAN I HELP YOU?' A look at the work of Howard Co. dispatchers

'911, CAN I HELP YOU?' A look at the work of Howard Co. dispatchers

ELLICOTT CITY, Md. (WBFF) - The 9-1-1 call center with the Howard County Police Department is constantly busy.

Each operator has been extensively trained. Each one also has a unique calmness in their voice. They are ready for any emergency each time they answer a call.

More than 400 calls can come in each day. The can range from a mass crisis, like the floods in Ellicott City, to something as simple as a lost cat.

Steven Sandler is one of the 911 operators. He explained: “We never know what the call will be when we answer. Even in the face of an emergency, I can keep myself pretty calm even though my emotions are running high, I try to keep my demeanor calm and keep callers calmer, and get them help faster."

For nearly two decades, Lakisha Robinson has been answering 911 calls. Her extensive experience has helped when some of the most emotional calls come in. She tells us about one of the toughest calls.

"She didn't even realize she had been shot because she was so focused on trying to save her daughter."

Another dispatcher, Rob Roy, recalls one of the biggest crisis’s he has had to handle: the shooting at the Columbia Mall.

He explained: "That was crazy, the number of calls that came in."

They say they are just eager to help whoever is calling, as they try to keep their community safe.

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