Public Information Officer
EMERGENCY DISPATCHERS HONORED BY COUNTY COUNCIL
Calling it one of the most demanding jobs in law enforcement, Volusia County Sheriff Ben Johnson joined the County Council Thursday in honoring public safety dispatchers for their pivotal role in protecting lives and property. “This is probably one of the hardest jobs in law enforcement,” Sheriff Johnson said during a ceremony honoring top public safety telecommunicators in the county. “It’s a tough job, it’s a stressful job, and it’s a job we appreciate and we couldn’t do without. ...What a great job you do.”
Sheriff Johnson’s remarks came during a ceremony Thursday honoring 10 of the county’s finest telecommunicators from public safety agencies throughout the county. The County Council also proclaimed April 13-19 to be recognized as Telecommunicators Week in Volusia County. “These professionals deserve special recognition for their proficient manner in responding to citizens’ requests for public safety needs,” states the proclamation unanimously adopted by the Council.
Selected by their peers, the 10 dispatchers were honored as the best telecommunicators in the county for the year 2002. The telecommunicators recognized Thursday represent six municipal police departments in the county along with the Sheriff’s Office, Deltona Fire Department, EVAC ambulance and the Southeast Regional Communications Center. “We all appreciate the work that each and every one of you do every day,” said Council Chair Frank Bruno. Meanwhile, Council member Bill Long said he had a special admiration for telecommunicators because his first job as a teenager was working as a dispatcher at the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office. Working in a difficult and high-stress environment, telecommunicators are the public’s first point of contact during a problem or public safety crisis. They’re 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 to the call for help. “I can tell you that you guys have a real, real tough job. I know it,” said Long. “I have a kinship with you, and I appreciate all of you.”
The telecommunicators who were honored at Thursday’s ceremony were: Stacie Daraio, Daytona Beach Shores Department of Public Safety; Shiresma Joyce, Daytona Beach Police Department; Tara Kissling, Ormond Beach Police Department; Rose Lewallen, Deltona Fire Department; Michelle Patterson, EVAC ambulance; Fred Robidoux, Ponce Inlet Police Department; Wayne Rye, DeLand Police Department; Darlene Saltsman, Southeast Regional Communications Center; Cheryl Stettler, Sheriff’s Office; and James Travell, South Daytona Police Department.