Amy Mains can’t see herself not being a 911 dispatcher

Published 8:00 am Saturday, April 20, 2024

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EDITOR’S NOTE: In recognition of National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week, the Daily News will be highlighting some of the dispatchers at Troup County 911 who are the first, first response when emergency help is needed. For our final dispatcher of the week, we are featuring Dispatcher and Supervisor Amy Mains.

 Amy Mains has been a dispatcher for 14 years and was promoted to supervisor around six years ago.

Like many of the dispatchers in the Troup 911 office, Mains has grown to love dispatching and being able to help people.

“I find it extremely rewarding. I can’t see myself doing anything else,” Mains said.

“The most rewarding calls are when I’m actually able to feel like I have helped someone. Even if it’s just a small thing like getting children through a difficult situation,” she said.

She says sometimes it’s not always saving a life. Helping someone who needs you is rewarding too, like staying on the phone with a child while their parents are arguing or staying with an elderly person waiting for help to arrive.

“It doesn’t always have to be the major event to help with. It could just be a small thing,” Mains said.

She said calls involving children or the elderly can also be the most difficult emotionally.

For 911 dispatchers, giving out CPR instructions over the phone is one of the more common ways to know you have helped save a life. Mains said one of her proudest moments was doing so.

“I was on the phone about a person who had been electrocuted when they cut a power pole. He fell from a ladder where he was trimming trees and when he had been electrocuted. I gave his daughter CPR [instructions] over the phone until help arrived and he was saved from the CPR,” Mains said.

Mains said having to give CPR instructions over the phone is a common occurrence in the office.

“It could be every day, it could be months in between, but that one particular one ended up on A&E network, so I’ve actually been on TV,” Mains said.

Mains said over the years she has gotten used to the long hours and wild calls, as that comes with the job. She says she has to stay calm to be able to help those in need.

“I just try to keep myself calm and if I keep my voice even and calm it seems to keep them calm as well. Because if I panic, they’re going to panic,” Mains said.

She said for particularly emotional calls, sometimes they just have to sit back and take a breath or walk outside if possible. They also have access to counselors if needed.

Mains said she usually talks to her dad afterward to help, noting he is retired from law enforcement.

But for Mains, and all the other dispatchers featured throughout the week, the rewarding work outweighs the emotionally painful calls. So, they come back to work and are always available to help with just three numbers, 9-1-1.