"9-1-1, what is your emergency?"
They are words that can mean "everything" if you are in need of help. The I-Team was given rare access inside the 9-1-1 of Luzerne County. These are the people who are never seen but are everyday heroes to so many families.
Consider this, this center handles an average of 40,000 calls a month, that's around 1,000 calls a day. These people often make life or death decisions on a moments notice.
We spent some time with Jim Ostrowski, a 20-year veteran of 9-1-1. He has seen and heard it all.
Ostrowski says, "During the busiest times you don't how do you say, you just react your instinct proceed on the job get correct information move onto the next call constantly taking calls."
As we sat with Jim., we saw him in action, calmly handling all types of emergencies, helping people in need, people in fear."
Here's a call. "9-1-1, where's you'r emergency? In what town was the problem? Do you know who they are? So they're inside the abandoned house? People are in there you said?"
And another.... "What's the problem? How old are you? Female, male? I don't know sir, are you having a hard time breathing?"
So what are some of the things that stand out? Jim says, "Suicides one of the top, talking to person on phone either person who is attempting it or somebody came in and found somebody in house who had committed suicide like that sticks with you."
And Jim will be the first to admit that sometimes even for a hardened 9-1-1 veteran, some days are just tough when the humanity of it all sinks in.
"There are times when you take in so many calls it builds up on you you have to take extra 10-15 minutes calm back down and realize you helped somebody," Ostrowski says.
And 'deal with it' they do everyday. All of the 9-1-1 dispatchers undergo intense training, but they will tell you there is no training in the world that can possibly prepare a person for some of the things they have to deal with when the phone rings.