April 14-20 is National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week and people across the country are taking time to show their emergency dispatchers appreciation.
This week members of Horry County Council, administration, the police and fire departments will bring meals to the 911 dispatchers at the Horry County Government and Justice Center.
Dispatchers in the County take a call each minute of every day.
News13 sat down with Horry County 911 director, Renee Hardwick, who said showing appreciation this week is important because sometimes their work is forgotten.
“It’s simply because you don’t see them,” Hardwick said. “You hear them on the phone or the radio, but you don’t see them because we don’t come out to the scene if you will. We don’t have flashing lights or anything like that but, I like to think we are the heartbeat of public safety.”
Hardwick added it can often be difficult for dispatchers to move on from difficult calls as there is no closure for them once first responders arrive on scene.
“I think often people think because we’re removed, as in we don’t go to a scene to see anything, that we’re not impacted in the same way,” Hardwick said. “We don’t see crime scenes or the wrecks or the people who are hurt or whatever it may be, but we’re still on that phone and we want to help people, that’s why you get into this business.”