The Broward County Commissioners proclaimed April 2017 as National 911 Education Month. Earlier this week, the Commission awarded two county 911 operators, Erin Kafka and Charmaine Buckner, for outstanding performance during the execution of their duties.Both operators were awarded the 2017 Tom Gallagher Memorial Public Safety Award.Kafka works for the Coral Springs Police Department, and was honored for the sense of calm she displayed during a 911 call she received during a deadly shooting incident at the Coral Spring Mall last November.Buckner, assigned to the Broward County Sherriff Office, was honored for the role she played in dispatching fire and police rescuers to save the life of an infant in Pembroke Pines from drowning last year.Buckner is a veteran of seventeen and one-half years at the BSO. The Jamaican who migrated to the US when she was age-5, and currently resides in Atlantis, Palm Beach County, says he became a Communications 911 Operator “by accident.” She said while working at the State Attorney office, she accompanied a friend to a job fair and was encouraged to apply for the job for which there were vacancies.She applied, was interviewed, had background check conducted, and was accepted to the Sheriff’s Academy where she underwent training. She has no regrets regarding her job, although it can be stressful and takes time away from her family.“It’s a mentally challenging job, so it can be quite mentally tiring, but I cope by letting everything go at the end of the day, and by exercising. I try to get sufficient exercise to cope with the stress.”Regarding her family life, the wife and mother of two says the long hours, normally 12-hour shifts, often takes away from time she would normally spend with her family on holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners. She ways she works most weekends, and in her almost 18-years on the job “I have had weekends off during three years.”She says the most important thing about her job is it offers her an opportunity to “really help people.”She encourages Caribbean-Americans to enter the profession if they care about helping people. “Despite the long and demanding shifts, the pay and benefits, especially the pension plan are good, and the job is exciting and challenging.”Expressing humility, Buckner doesn’t regard the incident which played a role in her being honored as an act of bravery. “I was just doing my job.” She said when the frantic caller called screaming about a child in danger of drowning, the caller hung up without identifying the address where the child was in danger. Buckner said she to used the “longitude and latitude coordinates” of the call to identify the location that call came from. By doing this she was able to quickly dispatch fire and police rescue to the location to save the child.Buckner expressed great honor at being awarded by the County, after so many years on the job.