Local News

911 employee of the year answered more than 5,000 calls in a month

Posted September 6, 2012 12:19 p.m. EDT

— A call taker at the Raleigh-Wake Emergency Communications Center has been named the state's 911 employee of the year after she set a record for handling the most calls in a single month.

Heather Corbett answered 5,269 calls in May.

"Unless I'm mistaken, this is by far the most phone calls ever answered by one person in a month and by anyone who has ever been employed here," said Jesse Creech, who is Corbett's supervisor. "It was a number I had to share with everyone as it is amazing to me."

Corbett competed with 911 employees from across the state for the honor, given by the North Carolina Chapter of the National Emergency Number Association.

In nominating her, Emergency Communications Director Barry Furey noted that Corbett had a bit of an advantage when it came to the sheer volume of calls. The center saw the number of calls skyrocket in the spring, after the state implemented10-digit dialing.

Instead of dialing the 919 area code, thousands of callers have been mistakenly dialing 911 and hanging up, officials said. That prompts a return call from dispatchers, who must verify whether there is an emergency.

Still, Furey said, Corbett's performance has been exemplary.

"None of these 5,269 calls resulted in a complaint," he said. "And she was able to maintain an emergency medical dispatch score of 100 percent for the month."