LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) - There are only two other centers like it in the world, and on Friday, the American Red Cross celebrated upgrades and efficiencies at its Military Emergency Communications Center.

The Red Cross provides aid around the globe, which includes helping military members, veterans and their families. The Louisville Area Chapter is one of three military emergency communications centers in the world. The call centers are available every day of the year at all hours. They act as a direct link between a service member's family and the command staff to get the soldier home for a variety of reasons, like the death of a family member, a serious illness or the birth of a child.

Recently, the Louisville Call Center got an airman back to the U.S. from Afghanistan in time to see his mother before open-heart surgery.

"We paid for his flight, we gave him some spending cash when he hit the ground. Doug walked off that plane and walked into the hospital room to see his mom walk into surgery, less than 48 hours after we took that call," said Koby Langley, Sr. VP, Service to the Armed Forces with the National American Red Cross.

"He made it home for that surgery. He was there for his mom."

Louisville's Emergency Communications Center has been here since 1999. Recent upgrades were celebrated Friday, like new IT equipment and phone line systems, which will provide quicker response time during emergency communications.

A large donation for the call center came from the late Elizabeth Shwab Sanders, who supported the Red Cross during World War II and most of her life.

Next month, requests for assistance can be made online, and cloud-based technology will boost communication. Last year, the Red Cross call centers helped more than 300 families a day.

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