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Emergency Dispatchers Honored By County Council

Date Added: April 05, 2007 2:00 pm

Emergency Dispatchers Honored By County Council Image

Gary Davidson
Public Information Officer

The lifeline that connects people in distress with emergency services, public safety telecommunicators work in a difficult and high-stress environment around-the-clock with little fanfare or recognition. Once a year, the Volusia County Council joins Sheriff Ben Johnson to change that. On Thursday, Sheriff Johnson and the Council marked Telecommunicators Week by praising the professionalism and dedication of the men and women who answer 911 calls and dispatch law enforcement officers, firefighters and paramedics to where they’re needed. “As far as I’m concerned, it’s the hardest profession in the public service arena,” Sheriff Johnson said. “Volusia County should be very proud of the job they do. I’m very proud of each and every one of them.” 

On Thursday, the Council passed a resolution declaring April 9-15 to be recognized as 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 critical information -- sometimes in life-or-death situations -- and then dispatching public safety officers to quickly respond. “Thanks for all of your hard work,” said Council Chair Frank Bruno. “We want to thank you for your dedication.” 

In addition to Thursday’s proclamation, the Council and Sheriff took time out to recognize five telecommunicators from around the county who were selected by their peers as the best in their agencies during 2006. The honorees were as follows: 

Fred "Butch" Robidoux         Ponce Inlet Police

Patrick Harding                    Volusia County Sheriff's
                                          Office Fire/EMS
                                          Communications Center

Fred Gilbert                         Deltona Fire and Rescue

Jennifer Rose                      Regional Public Safety
                                         Communications Center

Robert Hart                         Ormond Beach Police

“People just don’t realize what they do and how hard they work,” said Sheriff Johnson. Despite the on-the-job challenges, Sheriff Johnson said most telecommunicators do the job because they love it. And Thursday’s honorees seemed to agree. “I just feel very blessed to be in this business,” Rose told the Council. “It’s a pleasure to work with people and to be able to help people.”

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