A couple of local 911 call takers retiring after over 60 combined years on the job

A couple of local 911 call takers retiring after over 60 combined years on the job

CINCINNATI (FOX19) - A couple of local 911 call takers are retiring after a combined more than 60 years on the job.

The two have worked more than 30 years each, so more than 60 years combined.

They both started in the 1980′s.

Now, the two are heading into 2021 and almost retired.

“I think by the grace of God I have been here for 32 years... You can’t beat that.” Mary Wilkins, Cincinnati 911 call taker said.

For nearly 32 years, Mary Wilkins says she has been taking 911 calls in the city of Cincinnati.

These days she is answering some of her final calls because she’s only one week away from retirement.

Wilkins says she was among the second round of call-takers to be hired back in 1989.

“It’s time to let go, and that’s going to be the hard part. I have to take care of my mom. She’s 92, and she needs me to be home, but at the same time, I am still holding on to this place,” says Wilkins.

“There are two homes, your work family and your home family, and right now, that one is calling me. I don’t want to go, but I have to go,” she says.

Wilkins isn’t the only call taker who is retiring; Rob Metsch says he is approaching retirement as well.

He has been a call-taker since 1985.

Wilkins tells FOX19 that things were drastically different back then.

Runs were entered by hand, and there was no CAD (Computer Aided Dispatch) system.

Employees were given small paper maps and expected to learn every street in the city.

“The way that things are done. A lot of it has changed, but a lot of it has been done over and over and over again. As far as the way that communications has run, it has changed. It has finally changed,” says Wilkins

Wilkins says being a call taker isn’t something she thought she’d be doing this long, but she says she has enjoyed it every step of the way.

She says there have been many good days, and there have been many bad.

“I took that call with Sonny Kim. That was devastating. That was very difficult,” she said.

There have also been some calls she says she won’t ever forget.

What she says she’ll miss the most is the people she works with and being able to be able to assist in any way she can.

“The reason for being here is helping people, and whatever small way I can help that’s the whole point is to be of assistance to somebody,” she says.

Wilkins says in addition to taking care of her mother, she plans to learn how to roller skate in retirement.

She is set to retire on the 1st, so she’s heading into 2021 retired.

Rob is not far behind her and says he is expected to retire in February.

He also says he’ll miss being here.

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