Deputy Casey Melton usually keeps watch in Southport.
During Hurricane Michael, it was no different.
She spent the night before the storm made landfall at the Emergency Operations Center.
“I woke up the next morning, to be honest with you, to chaos,” said Casey Melton.
Winds eventually became too strong for Cay county first responders to respond. Melton said she noticed dispatchers having a hard time answering 911 calls.
“Call after call after call, you could see defeat in their faces.”
With dispatchers unable to tell residents help was on the way, Melton decides she needs to intervene.
“I pulled them out one by one and reminded them what they’re doing. I asked them do you love your job? Is this what you love to do? And of course, they would say yes.”
A fellow Bay County Emergency Services employee there at the EOC during the storm called Melton a much needed PTSD counselor who kept dispatchers focused and effective during the worst part of Hurricane Michael.
“the thing is they’re used to being able to help people, to say we have help on the way, Ive got someone coming to you,” said Melton. “They get to wear the cape too.”
Melton said she’s honored to be recognized but there’s no thank you needed. She loves her job and her first responder family.
“They are our guardians for goodness sake. They tell us what to do and where to go and give us help. So of course I wanted to help.”