ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — The people who answer the call when residents are having an emergency is hiring.

Rockford’s 911 Telecommunication Teams is in the first phase of their hiring process. They said that they are looking for the best to help the community.

“Twenty-four hours and seven days a week operating business, honestly, so we always need help,” said 911 operator Samantha Cardwell.

Cardwell has been a 911 operator for over a year. The job lets her be a part of saving lives in her hometown.

“I feel like we definitely make a difference in our community daily. I feel like we get a better insight of what’s going on in the community,” Cardwell said. “Making sure that they know we’re here to help, because a lot of times they’re in a panic mode because of whatever they’re experiencing, so we have to calm them down so we can get the information needed for the officers.”

Adam Eich, training supervisor for Rockford 911, believes that telecommunicators are the more important people that are not seen.

“Our people here in the center are the first responders. With all our people taking the calls and dispatching the calls, the citizens wouldn’t get the help that they’re looking for, so our people are here answering the phones and getting them the help that they need,” Eich said. “So, it is very important.”

Eich is looking to create a strong staff to better help the community.

“Our people are taking 911 calls, taking out emergency calls. They are dispatching four police departments, fire departments, sometimes while they’re taking number one calls, listening to multiple fire department radio channels at one time, multiple police department, radio channels at one time,” Eich said.

All residents need it a high school diploma and be at least 18 years old.

“Our training program here is very, very solidified, and they’re very good at helping in areas that you might not think that you need help in, or helping in areas that they see that you need help in,” Cardwell said.

Cardwell encourages anyone who wants to make a difference to apply.

“If you have compassion to assist the community daily, I would say definitely try,” Cardwell said.

Starting pay is over $22 an hour. Rockford 911 is taking applications until September 10.