LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Emily David is known as a first-first responder. You might not see her or others like her out at a scene but you may hear their voices - and it's those voices that are responsible for making sure everything is getting done when there is an emergency.
"We still are the very first contact that someone has when they have an emergency. No one calls 911 on their very best day and when they have to do that, they're going to talk to one of us," David said. "No one sees that part of the experience but we are working hard for you every day."
David, a 12-year veteran at Louisville MetroSafe, was honored Thursday evening as Kentucky's Dispatcher of the Year at the Kentucky Emergency Services Conference. David was given the award in part for her work in responding to the deadly crash on Christmas Eve that killed LMPD Detective Dee Dee Mengedoht.
"A loss like that is devastating on a personal level, not just a professional level," David said.
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But despite the tragedy, David said in that moment, she knew she still had to keep her composure as she stayed on the radio to communicate with emergency crews.
"Being the very best at what you are doing until the job is accomplished or until your relief comes to take over that headset or that radio, you have to just keep moving forward," she said.
Even though the award bears David's name, she said it does take a team of people just like her doing their best to keep the public safe, even if they are not necessarily in the spotlight.
Former Louisville Public Service Chief Doug Hamilton, who retired just days earlier, was also honored at the awards banquet. Hamilton had previously served as the director of EMS and as Louisville's police chief.