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Emergency Dispatchers Honored By County Council

Date Added: April 16, 2009 3:00 pm

Emergency Dispatchers Honored By County Council Image

Gary Davidson
Public Information Officer

They don’t face the same dangers as the cop on the street. However, the fast-paced, stressful world of public safety telecommunicators easily makes it one of the most challenging jobs in all of law enforcement. And given their task of eliciting critical information from callers in sometimes life-and-death situations and getting help to people in emergencies, it’s one of the most important jobs too. On Thursday, Volusia County Sheriff Ben Johnson and the Volusia County Council took time out to let telecommunicators know just how much their work is appreciated and admired. “I’ve often said that this is the hardest job in law enforcement,” said Sheriff Johnson. “What’s truly impressive to me is the fact that the harder it gets, the busier it gets, the more stress that’s there, the better they get. It’s just absolutely amazing how they come together as a team when the times are tough.”

Sheriff Johnson’s comments came during an annual ceremony before the County Council recognizing telecommunicators for their contribution to the public safety of the community. As part of the ceremony, the Council proclaimed April 12-18 to be recognized Telecommunicators Week in Volusia County. The weeklong recognition is designed to show appreciation for public safety telecommunicators and the tough and demanding work they do each and every day on the job. The public’s first point of contact during a problem or public safety crisis, telecommunicators are responsible for fielding emergency calls from citizens, obtaining essential information for responders and then dispatching police, fire and medical crews to the scene as quickly as possible. It’s a job that not everyone is cut out for and not everyone can do. “These men and women, on a daily basis, provide for the citizens of Volusia County and give it their all,” said Captain Chico Mandizha, commander of the Sheriff’s Office’s communications section. “We really appreciate the recognition.”

Thursday’s ceremony also was an opportunity to recognize four telecommunicators from around the county who were selected by their peers as the best in their agencies during 2008. “On behalf of the County Council, we thank you very much for your dedication to the citizens of Volusia County,” County Council Chair Frank Bruno told the assembled honorees. “Thank you so much.”

The four honorees and the agencies they represent were as follows: 

  • Diane Davidson              Deltona Communications Center
  • Kimberly Barlow             Regional Public Safety Communications Center
  • Gina Evans                    Volusia County Sheriff’s Office
  • Fred “Butch” Robidoux     Ponce Inlet Police Department

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