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April 12, 2010 2:00 pm

Gary Davidson
Public Information Officer

The response to almost all law enforcement, fire and medical emergencies begins with a 911 call. And it’s that trained professional on the other end of the line who calms the caller, elicits crucial, sometimes life-or-death information for responding units and dispatches emergency crews to the scene. And in the process, they make significant contributions to the apprehension of criminals, the suppression of fires and the treatment of patients. On Thursday, officials in Volusia County took time out to honor public safety telecommunicators for their vital role in protecting the public. “These people are absolutely critical. They’re the very first contact for citizens when they need help,” Bill Lee, the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office’s chief deputy, said during a recognition ceremony that took place during Thursday’s Volusia County Council meeting. “Without them, it’s a link that would break the chain and make it impossible for us to do the job that we to today.” 

Lee’s comments came during an annual ceremony honoring local public safety telecommunicators. As part of the ceremony, the Council proclaimed April 11-17 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. 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 2009. “They’re awesome people who do an awesome job for each of their agencies,” Debbie Smith, the Sheriff’s Office’s assistant communications commander, said in introducing the honorees to the Council. And Council Chair Frank Bruno heartily agreed. “You get the information that is life-saving, and you’re under stress on a regular basis. I know that,” Bruno told the foursome. “We can’t thank you enough for the hard work that you do every day.” 

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

  • Randy Frantz          Ponce Inlet Police Department
  • Jessica Gagner       Deltona Fire Communications Center
  • Mary McCormick     Regional Public Safety Communications Center
  • Randy Zentz           Volusia County Sheriff’s Office
Volusia County Sheriff's Office

Administrative offices: West Volusia 386-736-5961 Daytona Beach 386-254-4689 New Smyrna Beach 386-423-3352

Non-emergency dispatch numbers: DeLand 386-943-8276 Daytona Beach 386-239-8276 New Smyrna Beach 386-409-8276 Osteen 407-323-0151

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