04/15/2014 11:42 EDT | Updated 06/16/2017 11:23 EDT

Emergency services honour 911 dispatchers

Three emergency dispatchers were recognized for their work on Tuesday by Toronto’s police, fire and emergency medical services. The annual awards go to 911 operators who have gone above and beyond their duty and, this year, acknowledged some exceptional work during the ice storm. 

Dispatcher Norm Riviera helped a father deliver a baby, while one of Jessica Norquay marathon shifts amid the storm included a mayday call from firefighters. 

- Photos | Ice storm's beauty & ruin captured in stunning photos

“When a firefighter mayday comes in, that's the worst feeling you can get,” Norquay told CBC News. “Your heart starts to beat through your chest. You follow your training.”

Joanna Jenkins, a 12-year veteran of the 911 service, said she will never forget the call she took last year from a 10-year-old girl. 

It started out sounding like a medical call. “She was crying that she needed help for her daddy,” Jenkins recalled. “It was a long time into the call, about five minutes, before she said that mommy had killed daddy.”