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Celebration to honor 9-1-1 calltakers and emergency dispatch personnel

MARC NEWS RELEASE
March 31, 2017
 
CONTACTS:
Eric Winebrenner, Public Safety Program Director, ewinebrenner@marc.org, 816-701-8211
Catherine Couch, Public Affairs Coordinator, ccouch@marc.org, 816-701-8389

Celebration to honor 9-1-1 calltakers and emergency dispatch personnel

20th Annual Telecommunicators Appreciation Celebration to recognize public safety professionals for their role keeping communities safe

On Friday, April 7, 2017, the Kansas City Regional 9-1-1 System will celebrate 9-1-1 calltakers and emergency dispatch personnel who work behind the scenes answering life-saving calls from citizens. The 20th Annual Telecommunicators Appreciation Celebration takes place from 6–10 p.m., at The Gallery, located at 61 E. 14th St., in Kansas City, Missouri.

The Mid-America Regional Council hosts the event each year during National Public Safety Telecommunicators’ Week — a time to honor dispatchers, radio and emergency phone technicians, communications staff trainers and supervisors for their dedication to public safety.
Over 400 public safety personnel from across the region will to attend this year’s celebration.

Outstanding Performance Awards will be presented to the following individuals (details provided below):
  • Everyday Hero Award: Cory Lammers, Platte County Sheriff’s Office, Master Deputy Kristina Martinez, Johnson County Sheriff’s Office, and David Tucker, Independence Police Department.
  • Outstanding Individual Performance in a Critical Incident: Kim Romine, Gladstone Police Department.
  • Outstanding Team Performance in a Critical Incident: Tamara Bazzle, Jessica Bedsaul, Kenie Bell, ShaQuylan Earle, Donna Griddine, Leanne Hart, Heather Harvey, Jacqueline Hopkins, Denise Jones, Arjelle Lawrence, Charlene Mancuso, Amelia McHale, Amanda Neild, Sarah Slentz, Candice Thomas, Amanda Williams and Vivian Young, Kansas City, Missouri, Police Department.
  • Outstanding Training Performance: Master Deputy Anjanette Deer, Johnson County Sheriff’s Office.
  • Outstanding PSAP Leader: Wendy Dedeke, Leavenworth County Sheriff’s Office.
  • Lifetime Achievement Award: Mike Murray, Kansas City, Missouri, Fire Department.
Nearly 600 dispatchers at 42 public safety call centers, also known as public safety answering points, answer a total of 4.1 million 9-1-1 and non-emergency calls each year in Greater Kansas City. These highly trained professionals work long hours behind the scenes, under pressure helping people through extremely difficult and potentially life-changing circumstances. In addition to assisting the public, they dispatch appropriate emergency response teams to the scene, provide first responders with vital background information and conduct follow-up checks on officers in the field.

The regional 9-1-1 system includes Cass, Clay, Jackson, Platte and Ray counties in Missouri and Johnson, Leavenworth, Miami and Wyandotte counties in Kansas. Each 9-1-1 answering center is operated by a local government. All 9-1-1 calls are handled by professionals who undergo extensive training in public safety communications. The Mid-America Regional Council provides administrative and coordination services for the regional 9-1-1 system.
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2016 Outstanding Performance Award Overviews
Everyday Hero: Cory Lammers of the Platte County Sheriff’s Office will be recognized for his exceptional commitment to public service, his ability to adapt to changes quickly in the communications center and his willingness to work overtime filling vacant shifts. Balancing his responsibilities as supervisor and communications unit leader, he is the go-to resource for new hires and tenured employees on questions regarding policies and procedures.

Everyday Hero: Master Deputy Kristina Martinez of the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office will be honored for displaying a confident, calm demeanor at the communications center, especially during high-priority events. She effectively manages 9-1-1 callers in incredibly stressful situations and elicits necessary information for responding officers. Well respected by her peers and supervisors, Martinez exhibits a positive attitude, professionalism, adaptability and a genuine concern for the community.

Everyday Hero: David Tucker of the Independence Police Department will be recognized for constantly going above and beyond to help responders in their search for a subject, completing every request asked of him, and his willingness to work extra shifts. Calm during the storm, he continuously looks for new and innovative ways to improve operations and exhibits a high degree of professionalism in every aspect of his work.

Outstanding Individual Performance in a Critical Incident: Kim Romine of the Gladstone Police Department demonstrated quick thinking and exceptional multi-tasking skills last November when an officer was shot during a traffic stop. The lone dispatcher on duty, she remained calm under pressure, immediately notified area law enforcement agencies, relayed pertinent information to responding personnel and fielded numerous radio and telephone calls from citizens and the media, all while tracking Gladstone public safety resources.

Outstanding Team Performance in a Critical Incident: 17 members of the Kansas City, Missouri, Police Department — Tamara Bazzle, Jessica Bedsaul, Kenie Bell, ShaQuylan Earle, Donna Griddine, Leanne Hart, Heather Harvey, Jacqueline Hopkins, Denise Jones, Arjelle Lawrence, Charlene Mancuso, Amelia McHale, Amanda Neild, Sarah Slentz, Candice Thomas, Amanda Williams and Vivian Young — will be recognized for extraordinary performance on November 27, 2016, when officers responded to a shooting near Gregory and Prospect. While on the scene, additional reports of shots fired came in with five people showing up at area hospitals with gunshot wounds. Staying calm and informative, the dispatch team coordinated assistance from 10 outside agencies, seamlessly handling several high-priority calls not related to the shooting.

Outstanding Training Performance: Master Deputy Anjanette Deer of the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office plays an important role in training deputies in the communications division. She conducts the final checkout of trainees and verifies concerns about struggling trainees. Her detailed evaluations are relied upon when deciding whether to pass a trainee. Deer also provides National Crime Information Center training to new deputies within the Sheriff’s Office, instructs new hires on proper communication through radio equipment and serves as lead writer in the divisional directive committee.

Outstanding PSAP Leader: Wendy Dedeke of the Leavenworth County Sheriff’s Office will be honored as an outstanding leader, dedicated trainer, trusted mentor and committed partner to the communications staff. Thorough and detail oriented, she helped lead her agency through the transition from an old analog radio system to a digital trunked radio system and oversaw upgrades to new computer-aided dispatch, records management, and jail management systems computer software. Working to make sure the Sheriff’s Office “nerve center” is the best it can be, Wendy holds herself and her staff to high standards of customer service.

Lifetime Achievement: Mike Murray of the Kansas City, Missouri, Fire Department will be recognized for 40 years of playing an integral part in public safety. Over his career, Mike has held multiple positions, including emergency medical technician, paramedic, field supervisor, union executive board member, communications specialist and training officer. When he found his permanent career path in public safety communications, he used a landline phone system consisting of a handset receiver with push buttons and everything was on paper. He did the job proficiently with minimal resources. Highly respected by his coworkers, Mike has a strong work ethic and does whatever is needed to complete the task at hand.