Dispatchers speak on tense moments during Atlanta shooting

It was all hands on deck Wednesday inside Atlanta’s 911 dispatch center. They received nearly two thousands calls during the active shooter incident.

"Oh lord. Let me hurry up and get someone here to the scene," Jamilah Thomas said.

They don’t carry guns or weapons.

"That’s our job is to save as many lives as possible," Keisha Ward said.

The men and women in Atlanta’s 911 Emergency Dispatch Center are heroes as they answered the calls during Wednesday’s active shooter in Midtown.

"The lady was just screaming saying she hears about six to seven shots fired outside the office," Brenda Ross- Byrom said.

Brenda Ross-Byrom is a senior dispatcher with over twenty years of experience. She stayed on the phone with a woman for over an hour.


"She was on the 11th floor. She was right outside the door where the people were then she realized someone was actually shot, and then she just started freaking out," Ross- Byrom said.

She says she told the woman to make sure everyone hid until help came.

"I looked at it and said ‘is this real?’ we get a lot of prank calls, so I said is this a real call. I dispatched it and I said ‘is this a real call’ then I saw them updating it and seeing that people were down," Thomas said.

Deep down Jamilah Thomas knew It was not joke.

The suspected shooter, 24-year-old Deon Patterson, entered into the Northside Medical building on West Peachtree Street just after noon injuring four women and killing a fifth.

"It automatically kicks in once you get a call like that," Dispatcher Keisha Ward said.

The first call came in at 12:08 p.m. First responders were dispatched at 12:09 p.m. They arrived one minute later at 12:10 p.m.

"I just wanted them to know they were going to be ok, and I was going to get help to them," Ross-Byrom said.

It was all hands on deck making sure not one call went unanswered.

"Someone has to do it. This job isn’t for everyone but someone has to do it," Ross-Byrom said.