BROWNSVILLE, Texas (ValleyCentral) — National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week is observed from April 10 to April 16 this year as a way to celebrate and thank those who work in the industry answering emergency calls.

The Brownsville Police Department’s Emergency Communications Department works daily around the clock to take calls ranging from community inquiries to emergencies, according to the department’s supervisor, Janie Castro.

She said it is important to understand when you should call 911.

“People are afraid to dial 911 sometimes because they’ll say it’s not really an emergency. It might not be an emergency to the public or to the society, but it’s a 911 emergency for you, and that’s all that matters,” said Castro.

She said the job comes with a lot of emotions.

“The stress level is like a roller coaster. You have your lows; you have your highs, and you have your really highs and you have your really lows,” she said.

She explained that their training program prepares the 911 operators for all types of situations, but added that it takes the entire team to get through some tough days.

“We work together day in and day out and we try to motivate each other with positive outcomes throughout the day,” she said.

Castro’s team dispatches fire, EMS, police, and other resources to respond to calls and said each call is handled carefully.

“You are a person; you are a human being, and we have the responsibility to save lives and preserve property,” she said.

She said their mission to save lives and preserve property applies to anyone dialing 911.

“We do not discriminate. People have this misconception because I am not from here, I am an illegal, I am not from this country, I cannot dial 911 and that is false,” said Castro.

Castro recalled a specific call that their mission was followed through.

“We were working graveyard, it was a Saturday night to a Sunday morning, so we were almost getting ready to be the end of shift and operator Nancy Cantu receives a phone call of a female in distress,” she explained.

The caller was Nansey Lucero Estrada, from Guatemala who was 9 months pregnant and going into labor in a brushy area after crossing into the United States.

Castro said the phone reception was not good and the call continuously broke up.

She explained that the woman’s brother was calling the department from Rockport, Texas to seek help for his sister. He advised them he was able to communicate with her clearly through the WhatsApp phone application.

Castro said using personal phones is not allowed in the emergency communications department, but she needed to make an exception.

“The first thing that came through my mind, the first thing that came to her mind is what if I get my phone, will you let me? And I said yes, we’re going to save a life,” she explained.

Her decision to use the phone ultimately saved Estrada and her baby’s life.

Castro was reunited with Estrada and her baby girl via a WhatsApp phone call three months after the 911 call.

“I am thankful for her, for the help, may God bless her and don’t change,” Estrada said as she wiped tears from her face.

Castro, also emotional, said the reunion was the first in her 21-year career.

“We always help people, but we never get reunited. It’s very emotional and I just want to know that it wasn’t only me. It was my team. I don’t work alone, it’s impossible. 911, we’re a team,” she said.