SHELBY COUNTY, Ala. (WIAT) — This week, Shelby County 911 is recognizing their team of dispatchers during National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week,  and they’re honoring the dispatcher who answered a “deputies down” call in March.

A chilling call on March 22 sent shockwaves through the Shelby County law enforcement community.

Katie Cain was the dispatcher behind the call. She has since been awarded Shelby County 911’s 2023 telecommunicator of the year award for her bravery and efficiency that day.

In the call that came through to her, Cain tells CBS 42 she was told shots were fired and deputies were down- that she needed to send everyone she had.

She said experiencing a call like that can be scary, but that her training instantly kicked in to make sure those deputies in the field received the help they needed.

“I think I just got tunnel vision, and I was like, ‘Okay. I’ve got to get the job done. I’ve got to get who needs to be there immediately,’” said Cain. “I didn’t know who was shot, what was really happening at the moment, but then you know afterwards I was like, ‘Okay everybody’s good. They’re going home. We’re making it.”

She says as a dispatcher it is critical to stay calm and keep your composure not only for the sake of the caller, but so she can carry out her duties efficiently.

Cain says becoming a master multi-tasker is also part of the job.

“You have to be room aware of everything that’s going on, but in a situation like that you really have to focus on what is going on and happening in that moment, and it’s like, it’s go time,” said Cain. “You know, the people behind you- it wasn’t just me that helped that day. I had so many people behind me and getting people where they needed to be, who needs to be called, so I’m grateful for my team.”

Captain Mark Bishop with the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office said Cain was a hero for their office that day and that he’s thankful for how all 911 dispatchers take care of them.

He says what’s happening on scene in the field is only one piece of the puzzle.

“The things that they’re doing in the background- the calling for help, the coordinating of resources to help get our deputies to the hospital in the fastest manor possible- all of those things often go unseen by the general public, but they are definitely appreciated by us here at the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office,” said Captain Bishop.

“They might not be able to see us,” said Cain. “We may not ever see them, but we know that we got them the help that they needed and that makes you feel good inside when you know that you can help someone.”

Cain says she is so grateful to be a part of a team that gets to help people when they need it most.

As for the two Shelby County Deputies that were injured, Captain Bishop told CBS 42 both are doing well overall. He said one is back at work and the other is still taking time to fully recover before returning to the job.