(CBS) — Rosa Bocanegra says every day, every shift, she has to be ready for the unexpected.

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“You have to be ready, and you have to be ready to react when you know something is going on and it needs immediate attention,” she told WBBM Newsradio’s Lisa Fielding.

Bocanegra has been a 911 operator for eight years.

She says most of the time, she deals with tragedy.

However many times, she’s able to help.

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That, she says, makes everything worthwhile.

“It’s nice to know when you are on the phone with somebody and you can tell, you can hear it in their voice, they are very appreciative that you’ve helped them.”

Bocanegra was chosen out of 30 operators in Aurora’s 911 center.

The award coincides with National Telecommunicator Week, which celebrates and honors the thousands of me and women who respond to emergency calls and dispatch emergency crews.

The approximately 30 operators in Aurora’s 911 Center handle police, fire, and ambulance calls for Aurora and North Aurora.

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Last year, they answered nearly 103,000 emergency calls and over 159,000 non-emergency calls.