This week the men and woman who work behind the scenes in an emergency are recognized during National Telecommunicators Week.
On what may be considered someone's worst day, when they pick up the phone and dial 911, it’s about who is on the other side of the line to help.
When the phone rings, these dispatchers are the first of the first responders.
"You're it. When the phone rings you are the only one that is there to help," said Jeni Hardy, the assistant supervisor for State Radio.
Serving 23 of North Dakota's 53 counties, State Radio communicates to hundreds people in a time of need.
"Dispatchers are the ones that are rarely seen, and their mostly heard. But they are there in a time when you need them," said Dan Donlin, director of State Radio.
There's an unknown waiting on the other end of the line.
"It can be something really simple where someone has a question or it can go to something tragic really fast," said Hardy.
But the men and women at State Radio will always pick up.
"It seems like every year it gets better and there's more awareness and people get to learn more about what we do and who we are," said Abby Berger, a dispatcher at State Radio.
Now others are hearing and giving appreciation for those who answer the call for service.
"It’s nice to know we are appreciated. We are really in the background, so a lot of times were not really forgotten we're just not known about," said Hardy.
As they continue to serve as a lifeline in a time of need for those experiencing life's unexpected events.