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Aside arrow Emergency Dispatchers Honored By County Council
April 27, 2006 2:10 pm

Gary Davidson
Public Information Officer

It’s high-stress, difficult and challenging work fielding emergency calls and making sure police, fire and rescue units get to where they need to go. On Thursday, public safety dispatchers were praised for the crucial role they play in ensuring that residents get a quick and efficient response when they call for help. “It’s the hardest job in law enforcement,” Volusia County Sheriff Ben Johnson said during a recognition ceremony Thursday morning in front of the County Council. “They do a great job, and I’m proud of each and every one of them.” 

Sheriff Johnson’s remarks came during a ceremony in which the County Council declared 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.  “I applaud each one of you for your commitment and the intensity of that job,” added County Council member Joie Alexander. “It does take a very special person to be able to give to it what you give. I thank you.” 

The entire council echoed the sentiments and not only honored the dispatching profession, but also took time out to recognize six telecommunicators from around the county who were selected by their peers as the best in their agencies during 2005. The honorees were as follows: 

Mike Miller            Volusia County Emergency
                            Communications Center

Randy Frantz         Ponce Inlet Police Department

Doreen Browning    Volusia County Sheriff’s Office

Crystal Rogers       Deltona Fire and Rescue
                            Department

Jennifer Zuber        Regional Public Safety 
                            Communications Center

Jessica Poertner    Ormond Beach Police Department 

A special posthumous award also was unveiled Thursday for Mark Townley, a former police officer from England who moved to Florida and worked as a dispatcher for the DeLand Police Department and the Sheriff’s Office before his death in May 2005 at the age of 45. “He surely will be missed by public safety,” said Debbie Smith, Communications Manager for the Emergency Communications Center. “It was a severe loss for all of us.”

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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