E9-1-1 Center honors dispatchers with awards, open house
April 20, 2016
In recognition of National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week, the Barry County E9-1-1 Center in Cassville held an open house for the public to tour the facility on Thursday, April 14, as well as an employee recognition ceremony on Friday where they handed out awards for service during the year.
Each year, the E91-1-1 Center holds an open house to allow the public to come in and tour the facility and learn more about emergency services in Barry County. Mike Phillips, the center’s director, said that around 40 people came to the event this year, which is the largest turnout since the first year they opened. Phillips said that multiple people from the community, as well as organizations like the Cassville Fire Department, Central Crossing Fire Department and Mercy EMS toured the facility, to get a better understanding of how the center operates.
The tour provided emergency personnel with an eye-opening look at all that goes into Barry County’s state of the art dispatching center. A Mercy EMT commented when he met some of the telecommunicators who dispatch, “You all have been calm and very supportive. It’s been very helpful.”
Friday evening, director Mike Phillips presented employee awards in recognition of all of the hard work that goes into dispatching and helping Barry County’s citizens in their time of need. Awards ranged from best adapter, best blooper to being most kind, composed helpful. Most of the awards are voted on by their peers, but the Employee of the Year award is given by the director.
During the award presentations, the group had a lot of laughs as well as sobering reminders of tough calls throughout year. When Phillips gave out each award, he shared the details behind why their peers voted for them or what situation led to their recognition.
Phillips handed out the Best Blooper award to Kandra Connolley and the Best Sense of Humor to Janell Watkins.
As Phillips handed out awards, he shared some of the stories behind the individual calls that prompted the recognition, such as outstanding call awards, such as one that went to Stuart Lombard for the Washburn homicide last year.
As Phillips handed out the two most prestigious awards, he shared the reasons the two ladies were selected. Janell Watkins was voted the Best Telecommunicator of the Year by her peers and approved by Phillips.
He said, “She is easy to go to with questions or concerns and pushes her team for excellence.” He also added that she is great with trainees and takes extra time for callers that need to hear a kind word. She was also recognized for being professional, even in times of stress and promoting teamwork.
Phillips selected Carrie Jabben of the Employee of the Year. Phillips said, “She has demonstrated a positive attitude and shown kindness to all co-workers.”
Phillips also said Jabben has grown in her duties, has a strong commitment to her job and has been supportive of the vision of the center.
He added, “I have seen a renewed passion and I am very glad to have an experienced veteran like her on the team.”
After the event, Phillips shared, “Both of these ladies were very much deserving of these highest awards. They have excelled this year and I am glad we were able to honor them as well as every emergency telecommunicator.”
Each year, the center recognizes National Telecomunicators Week because of the intense and hard work that each of them puts into every call that comes in. The telecommunicators act as the first point of contact for anyone in the county experiencing an emergency. To remain up on their training and abilities, each of them completes many hours of training to be the best they can be at their duties. Not only do telecommunicators communicate with citizens, but they also work to dispatch emergency personnel like police, fire and emergency medical personnel and sometimes offer life-saving advice to those reaching out for help.
The job is hard, emotional and exhausting at times, but the team at the Barry County E91-1-1 Center do all they can to ensure citizens are safe and get the help they need.
Complete awards were:
• Best Adapter - Carrie Jabben
• Best Blooper - Kandra Connolley
• Most Kind - Carrie Jabben
• Most Composed - Stuart Lombard
• Most Encouraging Word - Kandra Connolley
• Most Helpful - Kandra Connolley
• Best Sense of Humor - Jenall Watkins
• Great Call Awards - Kandra Connolley, Stuart Lombard and Alice Eutsler
• Telecommunicator of the Year - Jenall Watkins
• Employee of the Year - Carrie Jabben.