LUBBOCK, Texas — After 34 years as a 911 dispatcher with the Lubbock Police Department, Lillie Hearn retires on Friday, September 16.

Ms. Hearn started working as a 911 dispatcher back in 1988.

“It was definitely worth it,” Hearn said.

She was ready to leave Plainview to come to Lubbock and said becoming dispatcher “just happened.”

“I said four years, and I’m gone. Because I was gonna start my other career that I had planned. But it’s just the the constant talking to people helping people. And 911 grew, It 911 actually didn’t even exist when I started,” Hearn said.

She told that she saw the city grow and how constant people need assistance.

She got to work alongside different police departments, emergency medical services, the sheriffs office and many other agencies.

“I feel like I’m a part of a protected team,” Hearn said. She said she’ll miss the sisterhood, the brotherhood and the family.

“I’ll take away of just knowing that I had a small part in all the stuff that goes on. It takes a certain kind of person. And I can’t tell you what kind of person that is. But it takes a certain kind of person to be a dispatcher,” Hearn said.

Hearn said she doesn’t know what her last dispatch call will be, but she’ll leave it in God’s hands.

“…If I pick up that 911 call, and it’s somebody who needs me to help them out, or they just got a wrong number. That’s it is what it is. I don’t regret. One minute of it,” Hearn said.

Hearn plans to enjoy retirement.

“I’ll just have to wake up in. I’m just gonna take a day off for not having to get up at 430 in the morning. That’s the first thing. I’ll enjoy that. I probably won’t sleep in much, but not yet. But we’ll see,” heard said.

Hearn said her adventure awaits. “Greece, Santorini. I can tell you that right off the bat. Yes. And that’s been a dream of mine for years…I can’t wait,” Heard said.

Hearn encourages anyone to give dispatching a shot.

“…You might be here another 34 years. Somebody’s gonna be here. They haven’t broken my record yet. And they’re saying they’re not too but I’m waiting to see. And if they know oh, well, I’ll take it,” Hearn said.

Thank you for your service, Ms. Hearn.