Local dispatchers hailed as heroes

COOKE COUNTY, Texas (KXII) -- Nearly a week ago, Cooke County dispatchers got a frantic call of a family needing to be rescued off a lake. What dispatchers did next likely saved their lives.

"The daughter was just frantic," recalled dispatcher Courtney Gregg. "She was so scared, and we were just trying to keep them calm and let them know we had people coming to help."

Last Saturday around 1 p.m., Cooke County dispatchers got a call from a father and his six-year-old daughter out of Lake Ray Roberts whose boats had capsized and they were in the water.

"The winds were high and the waves were white-capping," said State Park Police Greg Waller, with Texas Parks and Wildlife. "The boat actually started to have engine failure and caused it to start taking on water."

"At that time, Courtney Gregg began to ping the cell phone because the caller could not give his exact location," said Deputy Chief Bryce Kennedy. "She relayed that information to state park police and deputies."

Because of that information, authorities say they were able to locate the family and bring them back to shore.

"Twenty years ago we had nothing," Gregg said. "We were writing pen and paper. So to have this technology now and to have computers is amazing. It helps out a lot."

The family did not wish to speak on camera. But did express their gratitude to first responders and dispatchers on Facebook. A post that's received more than 1,600 likes and more than 130 comments thanking these local heroes.

"I was absolutely shocked with the feedback on that post," said Gregg. "It touched my heart actually. It was really great."

But emergency workers say they don't do it for the recognition.

"We do this job because we want to help people," Waller said. "And having a successful call like this always makes us feel good and gives us a reason why we're doing it."

"As soon as I know they're okay, I'm okay," Gregg said. "Sometimes you fall apart after, but you can't do it while. Just mainly relief that they're being helped and everything being taken care of."