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The Winners Have Been Announced: 2012 Smart Telecommunicator Awards

Date: 2012-04-12
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In honor of National Telecommunicators Week, Smart911 along with our partner iCERT- the Industry Alliance, hosted the 2012 Smart Telecommunicator Awards to recognize 9-1-1 telecommunicators across the country for their leadership, performance and overall dedication to their public service answering point, or PSAP.  We were overwhelmed by the number of nominations we received for this award, and had the difficult task of selecting 20 finalists.  The entries told amazing stories of the individuals who make a significant difference every day, not only in their agency but also in the lives of the citizens who reach out to 9-1-1 for assistance.  We thank each and every nominee for their dedication to their position and the inspiration they clearly provide for those around them.

Thousands across the country logged on to vote for the finalist they felt deserved to be recognized. We are proud to announce the National Winner as well as the 4 Regional Honorees. 

National Winner
Jeffrey Harter
Chenango County Sheriff’s Office, NY

Jeff received a frantic call from Gwen Hornbeck, whose daughter Lauren was choking on a piece of food and unable to breathe.  Jeff was able to calmly instruct Gwen how to dislodge the food so that Lauren could begin to breathe again while emergency response crews were en route.  Jeff stayed on the phone with Gwen, providing consistent instructions on how to assist Lauren until her airway was completely unblocked and she was able to breathe and speak again.  His instructions ultimately led to the actions that saved Lauren’s life.

Jeff chose the American Cancer Society to receive the $1,000 donation

Regional Honorees
Each Honoree received a plaque for their award as well as a $500 donation to the charity of their choice

  • Central Region –
    Jose Tovar
    Austin Police Department/Emergency Communications, TX

    Tovar received a call with a female reporting two suspicious persons outside her residence, when the suspects suddenly attempted to break down her door. The victim reported her boyfriend was getting his gun and intended to use it. Crisis Unit responders and the victim praised Tovar for maintaining a dialogue and relaying critical information that brought calm to the volatile situation.

Charity: Hispanic Scholarship Fund

  • Northeast Region -
    William Rowe & Joleen Kinsel
    Muskingum County Sheriff’s Office, OH

    The two Ohio telecommunicators found themselves on the front-line of a situation garnering worldwide attention when a man released 48 exotic animals – including bears, lions and tigers – before committing suicide. Their actions and professionalism amidst this never-before-encountered scenario is cited as preventing serious injury to both citizens and law enforcement.

Charity: Operation Feed of Muskingum County

  • Southeast Region –
    Deborah Stewart
    Bartlett Police Dept, TN

    During a police investigation of a missing person’s case, Stewart actively compiled information on the situation which enabled police to apprehend the suspect responsible for the murder of the missing person, as well as three other homicides. Her quick thinking was vital to solving these open cases. 

Charity: St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital

  • West Region -
    Karen Stout
    Washoe County Sheriff’s Office, NV

    During a single shift, Stout received calls about a large wildfire breakout, accompanied by winds in excess of 50 MPH that kicked off spot fires throughout the area. At the same time, U.S. Vice President Joe Biden was speaking at a local high school. The telecommunicator’s deft dispatching skills are credited with managing the prompt evacuation of the Vice President and ensuring public safety from all fires

Charity: St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital

People, Places & Things/9-1-1magazine.com (via Smart911, 3/11/12)

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