DeFUNIAK SPRINGS, Fla. (WMBB)- Often, 911 operators answer the call of danger but sometimes, they get to do something different. The operators get to make the calls.
It’s called Project SafetyNet. Instead of answering the calls like usual, some of the operators at the Walton County Sheriff’s Office get to call local senior citizens to chat, check-in, and just see how they are doing.
“We have about 20 we call every morning and I get a kick out of talking to them,” said Diana Scroggins, Operator.
Answering the calls and making them, Monday through Friday, she starts her day out by going down the list at 7:00 A.M.
“I love talking to the elderly,” shared Scroggins. “It may be that we are the only person they talk to the whole day. It may be the only call that they get the whole day. “
After doing this for 23 years, Scroggins says they become like family.
“It helps them and also helps us. Or helps me anyway, ” said Scroggins.
Scroggins told us, at one of her darkest moments personally, she found a light at the other end of the other line.
“Mrs. Ruggle, we call her at 8 o’clock every morning and in 2015, my husband was diagnosed with cancer,” explained Scroggins.
The two would talk on a daily basis for about an hour and they found common ground. Mrs. Ruggle was also battling cancer.
“We would say prayers together. We always lift each other up in the mornings,” said Scroggins. “It’s just letting them talk. Letting them know that they are not alone.”
If you have a loved one that you would like the 911 operators to do welfare checks on regularly visit: https://waltonso.org/community-programs/safetynet/