9-1-1 dispatchers trained to stay calm, save lives - New York News

9-1-1 dispatchers trained to stay calm, save lives

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GLENDALE, Ariz. -

9-1-1 dispatchers are the unsung heroes of law enforcement and public safety.

They're on the other end of the phone line during times of maximum stress when lives are on the line.

In the new movie, "The Call," Halle Berry plays a 9-1-1 operator who helps a teenage girl.  The film is a case of art imitating life -- a cinematic journey to a world 9-1-1 dispatchers live in every day.

The 9-1-1 dispatch drama is eerily similar to a call handled by Glendale 9-1-1 dispatcher Michaelanne Acree.

The woman was able to call 9-1-1 from her cell phone. Michaelanne used the cell phone to track the location of the kidnapper's car.  Police found the vehicle and rescued the woman.

Michaelanne kept her poise -- that's the key.

"It can be challenging really, you have to get a feel for the caller and because they are the only people who can see the situation they are in, we have to rely on them," she said.

It takes a special kind of person to do this job. 

Cassie Gardner once got a 9-1-1 call from a man who calmly told her he'd just killed his family.  She kept him occupied on the line until police arrived at the scene to arrest him.

"Luckily, as a dispatcher, you should only be able to count on both hands your worst," she said.  "I can count mine on one hand.  After 15 years, I will never forget it."

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