C O N G R A T U L A T I O N S
Nomination - 2014
Telecommunicator of the Year
 
 
Ruth Krueger
 
La Crosse Emergency Services - Public Safety Communications
  
La Crosse Emergency Services, Public Safety Communications is located in La Crosse, WI and is the single PSAP in the County. The PSAP receives and dispatches all emergency and non-emergency calls for eight Law Enforcement, eight Fire, nine First Responder and two EMS agencies. In 2013, La Crosse PSC fielded 270,000 telephone calls for an average of 739 calls per day. Minimum staffing is four personnel, which includes either a Supervisor or Lead Telecommunicator. Telecommunicator Ruth Krueger had been with La Crosse PSC for 17 years. She spent most of these years working the overnight shift. In January of 2013, Ruth switched to the day shift with the hours of 7am to 3pm. Though she had plenty of experience, she preferred not to be made a Lead Dispatcher on her new shift until she had spent some time on it. Within six months, she was very comfortable being Lead. On Wednesday, September 11, 2013, Ruth was assigned as the Lead Telecommunicator and was one of the four telecommunicators required. A working Structure Fire in an industrial building in the City of La Crosse was called in at 6:47am, right at the time Ruth and her team came in to start their day. It was confirmed as a working fire and required most of La Crosse City Fire Department’s (LCFD) on-duty resources. The order to call in all off-duty personnel was given by Fire Command. Telecommunicators do the call-in and the process without interruption takes at least 35 minutes to accomplish. At 8am a working structure fire in a duplex came in. This fire took all remaining LCFD resources, including the called in personnel. Mutual Aid requests were put out for three other departments. One to assist at the second fire and two other agencies to backfill LCFD stations. La Crosse MABAS Division 134 was active but due to numerous promotions in LCFD staff, the training on MABAS had not yet been done for them. Consequently, all the extra resource requests were not simplified by the MABAS process. Just before 11am a call for a subject in the La Crosse River within LCFD jurisdiction came in. It took almost two hours to locate the body. Resources remained at the two fires most of the day. The entire shift was busy, not only with three major incidents occurring, but all the normal day-to-day activity. The shift entered 173 calls for service. Though that number is not abnormally high, an unusual number of them required multiple resources and lengthy on-scene times. Telephone call volume was very high. Ruth and her team fielded over 620 telephone calls in the eight-hour shift. For days afterwards, Ruth’s co-workers passed on their praise for how well Ruth handled everything thrown at them. They said she remained calm the entire time. Her knowledge and quick thinking kept everything moving forward. Her patience in guiding them through the mountain of tasks was very much appreciated, and her positive attitude along with her sense of humor made the worst parts of the day seem not so bad. I can’t think of higher praise than being singled out by co-workers for doing an exemplary job. I agree with Ruth’s co-workers and believe she truly worked above and beyond expectations of a Lead Telecommunicator. For this reason, I am nominating Ruth Krueger for Telecommunicator of the Year.
 

 
C O N G R A T U L A T I O N S
Nomination - 2014
Telecommunicator of the Year
 
 
Jamie Tlachac
 
Kewaunee County Sheriff's Office
  
Deputy Jamie Tlachac works as a Jailer/Radio 911 operator for our department, which means he does a dual role of 911 telecommunicator and also a corrections officer. Just those duties alone come with lots of training and responsibilites. Jamie is our inhouse training officer, which means that he sets up different training objectives each month for all of our telecommunicators and jailers. This too is a time comsuming task which he does very well. When Jamie is not at work for the Sheriff's Department, he works part time for the Village of Luxemburg as police officer and also is on the Luxemburg volunteer fire department as well as an EMT on the rescue squad. Because Jamie is so versatile and loves the job so much, he is a CPR instructor for our department. Our department last year went to the MABAS fire dispatch procedure, and Jamie, being a fireman, quickly volunteered to head up our transition and help to train our telecommunicators. He has gone to the training and will volunteer to come in on his own time to dedicate to this and is making sure that it succeeds. Being a member of the Sheriff's Department, he has the chance for other oportunities too. Jamie is on our SWAT team and has recently gone to training interviewing sexual assault victims. This type of training helps him talk to victims that are calling 911 as he knows what they are going through and how to help them. Jamie never complains, loves his job and shows it, he's an example to all others. When he takes on an assignment, he has the iniative to dig into it, learn everything about it and does it better than can be expected. I would like to nominate Jamie Tlachac for 2014 Telecommunicator of the Year, for his ambition, knowledge, ability, unselfishnes and dedication to his job and the performance that he shows. He is looked on by his fellow employees. He is a pleasure to work with and a huge asset to the department.
 

 
C O N G R A T U L A T I O N S
Nomination - 2014
Telecommunicator of the Year
 
 
Robert Keopple
 
Polk County Sheriff's Department Dispatch
  
To whom it may concern, Throughout my 10 year career as a law enforcement officer, Bob (Robert) Keopple has been an incredible asset to public safety in Polk County. Simply put, Mr. Keopple is the pinnacle of professionalism and dedication to a thankless profession. I am a believer that simply being proficient at one’s job does not warrant commendation; Mr. Keopple has clearly gone well above and beyond mere proficiency. Throughout my experience as a supervising patrol officer, Mr. Keopple has demonstrated a phenomenal dedication and courtesy that exemplify what a telecommunications professional should be. On one occasion, I was dealing with a violent drug offender that had federal warrants and was an illegal immigrant. I could not confirm the actual identity of the suspect since there was no link between the alias and the records available to our agency. Without prompting, Mr. Keopple took it upon himself to contact the Federal Bureau of Investigation, obtained critical information (including a photograph), and sent it to me. With the perseverance of Mr. Keopple, Polk County Law Enforcement agencies were able detain a violent offender and ultimately protect our communities and our children. Another example of Mr. Keopples dedication includes volunteering to partake in our agencies incident command practical exercises. While our agency had notable cooperation from the Sherriff’s Department, Mr. Keopple was the only member of the communications staff that gave up his free time to partake in the exercise. At no time during this or any other interaction did Mr. Keopple have anything other than a positive attitude. Ironically, within 3 weeks of that exercise (in 2013), a critical incident occurred in our county. As the command post was established, the first person that volunteered to serve as the on-site dispatcher was Mr. Keopple. Mr. Keopple’s knowledge, proficiency, and attitude reflected the highest standards of public service and kept the incident running smoothly. Mr. Keopple, a military veteran and firefighter, also clearly understands the need for incident command in public safety. As demonstrated by his support for innovative and progressive training excersises, Mr. Keopple has also supported ICS training both across agencies and for dispatchers in Polk County. While these concepts are not necessarily new, they are progressive philosophies in our area. Mr. Keopple clearly holds the safety of our communities through innovative practices in high regard. In addition to his professionalism, positive attitude, and ability to be a flexible team player, Mr. Keopple is one of the finest dispatchers in our county, if not in the State of Wisconsin. His concise articulation, ability to multitask, and calm demeanor in the most dire situations are reflected daily in his radio communications. Officers know that when they contact the sheriff’s department and “Bob” answers the phone, they have a courteous, competent professional catering to their needs. Mr. Keopple has not only proven to be a proficient, respectful, team player, he has also proven himself to be one of the most dedicated agents of public safety that I have known. The technical proficiency, conduct, attitude, and reputation of Mr. Keopple uphold the highest tradition of telecommunications professionals in the State of Wisconsin. For this reason, I do nominate Mr. Keopple for consideration of “Telecommunicator of the Year.” To ignore his selfless dedication to the profession would be tragic.
 

 
C O N G R A T U L A T I O N S
Nomination - 2014
Telecommunicator of the Year
 
 
Rick Hammond
 
Dane County Public Safety Communications
 
I am honored to nominate Richard (Rick) Hammond as the 2014 Telecommunicator of the Year. Rick has been an employee of the Dane County Public Safety Communications Center (DCPSCC) since February of 1994. It is difficult to even begin where to list all of Rick's contributions, but I will attempt to do so. DCPSCC is a better department because of Rick's contributions both on, and off, the radio and phones. He has participated in many phases of our new employee training, and he is an Emergency Fire Dispatch instructor for our center. In this arena, he is able to share even more of his passion for the job. He is also known as our local "Fire and EMS" expert. This is an area where he has shared a vast amount of knowledge and experience with others. Everyone in our center looks to him for advice and/or to answer questions regarding this discipline. Rick has been a beneficial asset, as he is always willing to participate wherever he is needed. Most recently, Rick has volunteered his local Fire/EMS knowledge to improve our new CAD system. Rick has spent many hours tweaking the system to improve our user agencies' overall satisfaction. It is a daunting task, but he does it without complaint. He has also contributed his knowledge and experience through service on various committees. It is not just Fire/EMS expertise that he prides himself on; Rick also maintains his skills in law enforcement dispatching. He also provides new ideas on how to better streamline their processes. DCPSC is a Tri-Ace (Accredited Center of Excellence); Rick has always maintained high level Quality Assurance scores of 95% or higher. I am certain there are many Telecommunicators in Wisconsin that are deserving of this award. I believe, however, that Rick truly deserves this award due to his many years of service, as well as his exemplary commitment to quality public service.
 

 
C O N G R A T U L A T I O N S
Nomination - 2014
Telecommunicator of the Year
 
 
Janan Halvorson
 
Dane County Public Safety Communications
 
Janan Halvorson has been serving the people of Dane County for more than 30 years. Janan joined the Dane County Sheriff's Office as a dispatcher in 1983, and transitioned to PSC when it was formed in 1987. The fact that Janan has provided more than 3 decades of service speaks volumes, and in many ways is reason enough to award her for this special honor, however that's not why I'm submitting this nomination. Janan is one of those consitant employees who day in, and day out reports for duty (not just work or a job, but DUTY) to SERVE the people of Dane County. On December 17, 2013 Janan answered a 9-1-1 call from an elderly female caller reporting her husband was "down". I recently had an opportunity to listen to this call (which I'm happy to share with the selection commitee) and it made me cry. I could write volumes about how Janan performed on this particular call, but I the caller, whose husband died that day, says it better than I ever could. THe caller recently wrote a letter to a local newspaper and I've pasted her words below. EMS dispatcher was wonderful I read the article, "MS, police give 911 center mixed reviews." I have to respond as on Dec. 17, 2013, my husband died in our home with just me and him. I tried chest compressions but realized I needed EMS. I called, and that wonderful dispatcher stayed on the line with me and talked me through the worst moments of my life. She encouraged me to push harder, and she would tell me just where the EMS were: "hey are turning onto River Road; they are at the top of Tuggle Lane. They are in your drive." No one knows what that means to a person in my position. It was life saving for me. I do not know her name, but I am so grateful to her. We could not save his life, but that dispatcher and EMS who got here quickly have helped me in so many ways. Whatever I could write would pale in comparrison to what's written above. I know this award is NOT to be based on just one single incident, and it definately is not. This call is but 1 small example of the passion Janan displays every time she's on duty. Janan's exemplifies the values of our department, and sets the example for her peears to emulate. Wether answering 9-1-1 calls, dispatching police officers, sheriff's deputies, firefighters or EMS professionals, Janan takes great pride in what she does, and how she does it. I urge to strongly consider Janan's nomination for 2014 Telecommunicator of the Year.
 

 
C O N G R A T U L A T I O N S
Nomination - 2014
Telecommunicator of the Year
 
 
Gail Curran
 
Waukesha County Communications
Gail has been a Telecommunicator with Waukesha County Communications Center since March of 2007. She demonstrates that she has positive and solid leadership abilities. Gail has wonderful customer service skills and exhibits them daily as she is very helpful and compassionate with the public. She extends this attitude to the agencies we work with as well as her fellow coworkers. Gail has a clear, calm and professional voice on the phone and radio even on the stressful high-priority type calls. She excels at and demonstrates daily her ability to multi-task. Gail continuously shows respect to not only her peers but her management team as well. She does not initiate negative communication and steers clear of engaging in the rumor-mill. Gail is highly motivated and embraces the opportunity for continuing education. Over the last 2 years she has been engaging in multiple online management courses. She works third shift and utilizes her down time to study and stay current with homework & projects. Gail helps proof read anything that’s asked of her: Scheduling documents, SOP’s and Training materials. Not only is she a student, but she is an instructor as well. Gail teaches CPR & First Aid yearly and passionately helps keep our staff certified and up to date with any changes or refreshers necessary. Gail can be counted on to be professional at all times and is a Dispatch representative on the Fire Protocols Committee. This panel meets monthly to discuss procedures and proper work flow between field units and dispatch staff. She is highly respected by her coworkers & Police and Fire agencies both inside and outside our county. Gail confidently demonstrates her Leadership abilities by filling in as an OIC, or an Operator in Charge, while the supervisor is unable to man the dispatch floor. Gail goes above and beyond by either initiating or volunteering for additional projects. She took it upon herself to develop a ‘dispatcher friendly’ map of an area covered by multiple departments that was creating confusion for the staff. She worked with both Dodge County and our GIS department to properly develop an effective resource and followed-through to get it out to our staff. Gail participated on our Overtime panel that helped create a fair, consistent work flow to effectively assign overtime while considering many different factors. Gail offers honest, professional, and prompt feedback – we saw this after Milwaukee County had to unexpectedly evacuate their center and set up at WCC, as we are their back up. She wrote up an excellent review of what went well and areas that we could modify or improve to better prepare for the potential of this happening again. Gail is a member of our Incident Tactical Dispatch Team. She participated in several large training exercises for mass casualty incidents this year including SIMCOM & a Water Rescue in Oconomowoc. Last month, Gail was the primary radio dispatcher for a barricaded and armed, suicidal subject in Summit. Once the call went tactical, she switched roles and responded out of dispatch to the Mobile Command Post. She assisted Incident command by promptly completing the multiple requests of resources and other needs, all while scribing detailed and accurate records of the event. Gail recently attended the WI ASP Tactical Conference in Brookfield which hosted all National Tactical Speakers. To share her training, she is currently developing a “Dispatcher Perspective” presentation to share with her co-workers utilizing all the topics from this event: Firefighter Hostage situation, Bunker Kidnapping, Armed, Suicidal Tactical Officer that was Barricaded (and one of their own) and the Marathon bombing. Gail truly cares, has a heart full of passion for the emergency services and wants our profession and center to be a success. Thank you for your consideration.
 

 
C O N G R A T U L A T I O N S
Nomination - 2014
Telecommunicator of the Year
 
 
Dennis Kallin
 
Winnebago County Sheriff's Office
  

Dennis Kallin embodies the traits necessary to be declared the 2014 WIPSCOM Telecommunicator of the Year. Dennis has been a dispatcher for the Winnebago County Sheriff’s Office since 08/14/1978. Over the last 35+ years of serving the citizens and emergency responders of our community, Dennis has modeled excellence. Dennis’ human relations skills are excellent. He is always in good spirits and a positive force to lift the morale of others. It helps that Dennis shows a genuine concern for others, especially those in need. Even in times of stress, he extends patience to everyone. Because of this, he is a pleasure for everyone to work with. Dennis is a team player who always does what is asked of him. He is reliable and dependable. He will get the job done. One example is helping complete a co-worker’s work load when she was called away for a family medical emergency. Dennis’ actions are a tremendous example of helping others. He is held in high esteem by his coworkers due to many examples like this over the years. Because his job knowledge is so vast, Dennis has served as one of our trainers. He’s more than willing to share his knowledge with others. He’s a valuable resource that others seek out. For instance, if a caller uses an out-dated address or information, Dennis often knows where that location had been and is able to share that with other dispatchers to ensure assistance arrives where needed. Willing to do his share of work, Dennis also takes on more responsibility such as training, updating materials, and all of those “little extras” that need doing. One of those extras was working with one of our cellular providers on completing annual line testing. They were impressed not only with Dennis’ level of professionalism, but completing the testing in record time. Dennis has also served as a supervisor in our Center, filling the role of Dispatcher in Charge (DIC). We rely on his leadership heavily and trust his judgment. He’s represented our agency at community events, such as presenting safety information and explaining what goes on at the Communications Center to Vacation Bible School students. He maintains a calm demeanor and cool head. Dennis is unshakable in high-stress situations. There isn’t a situation yet he hasn’t been able to handle – and after a career as long as his, he’s seen just about everything. He pays close attention to whichever agency he is dispatching for while keeping track of other activity going on around him. He has excellent room awareness. For instance, Dennis was commended for handling a 9-1-1 call where he was on the line for 32-minutes, calming the fears of a juvenile until officers arrived during a medical call. He was recognized for his professionalism and dispatching ability during a museum fire. Dennis also was commended on the job he did dispatching during a shooting at a local mental health institute. He received recognition for handling a tornado emergency too. Whether medical, fire, law, or weather calls, Dennis Kallin has exceeded expectations. On the radio, Dennis communicates well. He is brief and concise yet able to relay all necessary information. He enters calls quickly in a timely and accurate manner. Dennis excels at PRO QA, hitting 100% compliance during audits. Often, it seems recognition results from one significant call from the prior year, or longevity – hanging on long enough. However, Dennis Kallin has experienced a career’s worth of significant calls. And while he has served our agency for a long time, it’s not the length that is noteworthy. It’s the consistent high-level of performance and positive attitude he has displayed over 35+ years that make me proud to nominate him.


 
C O N G R A T U L A T I O N S
Nomination - 2014
Telecommunicator of the Year
 
 
Chris Dauck
 
Sun Prairie Police Department
  
Chris Dauck joined the Sun Prairie Police Department in October of 2007. Since then Chris has proven to be a very valuable asset to our Communication Center Team. 2013 was a challenging year for Sun Prairie with shortage of staff and co-workers out on FMLA. Throughout 2013 Chris had his scheduled bounced around like a Ping-Pong ball. There was very little consistency in the hours he worked. Through that all, he continued to be positive and never once had a negative comment. His attitude regarding scheduling was 'it is what it is" and that that there will be an end in site! Although Chris has not had to handle any earth shattering situations that draw public attention(good or bad) he handles himself with the utmost professionalism. Chris always demonstrates above and beyond in his daily performance. His dedication to the field of public safety communications is displayed by his willingness to be a team player and is always more than willing to take on new assignments. This demonstrates Chris's belief in our departments Mission stating: We will build relationships and solve problems; along with our Core Values which includes the commitment to providing high quality policing services and strive for continuous improvement, being responsive to community priorities and expectations while educating the community on our capabilities and limitations. Chris has over 576 hours in his sick bank which proves that he is a dedicated employee. It is very rare for him to take a day off due to illness. When he does, I am always concerned that it is something serious as this is a rarity for him. Chris stays very organized in his work environment and is always professionally dressed and takes pride in the atmosphere and appearance of our communication center. He has gained significant knowledge over 6+ years and this is highly reflected by his interactions with the callers seeking assistance for minor to major incidents, his interactions with co-workers and other staff members both within the Police Department and other city entities as well. Chris demonstrates very good call-taking skills and his radio communications are very clear and concise. He is aware of officer locations at all times throughout his shift ensuring the safety of not only our police force but citizens of the community as well. Chris is very well respected by all members of the management team, police officer and co-workers. Chris has agreed to become one of our communication training officers in 2014 as his ability to stay calm, neutral and unbiased are an extreme asset when it come to training new communicators. He is very well versed in civil vs. criminal and has resolved a lot of questions prior to having to involve an officer. He has compassion, patience, honesty and integrity. He upholds the departments Vision where in Sun Prairie we can all live safely and are empowered to share responsibility for public safety solutions, protected by a police department that is trustworthy and offers hope. I have told Chris numerous times that if I had the ability to clone him and his abilities as a dispatcher, it would make my job very easy. I would like to finish by reiterating that he has not had to handle any out of the norm calls for service in 2013 but his daily abilities have led me to nominate him for this award. He truly shows leadership skills by the contribution he has made to our department
 

 
C O N G R A T U L A T I O N S
Nomination - 2014
Telecommunicator of the Year
 
 
Thomas Schindler
 
Grant County Sheriff's Office
  
I would like to nominate Grant County Sheriff’s Office Telecommunicator Thomas Schindler for the WIPSCOM Telecommunicator of the Year. I have had the pleasure of working alongside Tom Schindler for 7 ½ years as a dispatcher with the Grant County Sheriff’s Office. Prior to coming to work for Grant County Tom worked as a Dispatcher at the City of Fond Du Lac Police Department before moving closer to home and working a few years at Iowa County Sheriff’s Department as a Jailer/Dispatcher. Tom started working for the Grant County Sheriff’s Office in September 2005.I have now been Toms supervisor for a little over the past last year. Tom is the best dispatcher I have ever had the pleasure to work with and I hope that Toms professionalism, dedication, honesty and reliability will continue to impact our employees. Demonstrates a positive attitude toward all aspects of the job. Tom is a very positive person and it shows in his daily work. Tom comes to work each day with a great attitude. Tom is always open and friendly with his coworkers and the public. Tom understands as a leader that his attitude sets the pace for other employee’s attitudes. Tom is a very confident and knowledgeable employee and it shows when Tom is assigned a task of is looking for additional duties. Tom is very receptive to the needs of the citizens we serve, his peers, supervisors and various public safety entities. Demonstrates a willingness to participate as a team player. Tom is not only our senior dispatcher, Tom is also that “go to guy” that each department wishes they had. Tom has a great working knowledge of our CAD and RMS, radios, and mapping. Tom took on the task of being our system administrator for VisionAir/TriTech. Tom is always looking for ways to help people improve the work they do and to improve the efficiency of the center. Demonstrates flexibility in the task assignments and capabilities. Tom is willing to take on so many different tasks. Tom built our MSAG, worked on our Internal ALI, entry of warrants, validations. There are so many things that Tom does besides his normal dispatching duties. Tom does it all and never complains. Tom always finds time to get things done that need to be done. Demonstrates professionalism and pride in personal appearance, quality of workplace appearance and other factors that merit enhanced respect and esteem of co-workers, supervisors and others. Tom displays professional attitude and appearance everyday he comes to work. Tom takes great pride in the Communications Center. The esteem the department holds for Tom, is based squarely on Tom’s honesty, integrity, reliability, and loyalty Actions which reflect the highest traditions of public safety service. Tom’s whole career has been public safety. Tom strives and excels in his pursuit of his career. Tom understands our past, present and embraces the future of communications. Innovative procedures suggested by the nominee, and implementation of these procedures, that enhance productivity, improve standards and demonstrate dedication to the field of public safety communications. Tom has worked very hard making sure more data and information are entered into calls than just what is required. Tom understands that the more data entered is more data that is then searchable by our staff. Tom has improved our MSAG, Internal ALI and RMS data and because of his work ethic it has caused other employees to follow his leadership. Demonstrates his knowledge of the profession. Everyday Tom show his knowledge of the profession thru his exceptional job performance with very little supervision required, taking on additional tasks and completing them in a timely manner with minimal instruction, assisting employees and coaching new employees and coworkers. Performance above and beyond the call of duty in daily routine. Held in high esteem by colleagues. Every member of our office can attest to respect they have for Tom and what a valued member Tom is to the Grant County Sheriff’s Office Demonstrates exceptional courage, foresight, alertness and skill in the performance of his or her profession. Tom is always looking at ways to improve our Communications Center. Acts of valuable communications services, special faithfulness and perseverance. Tom has taken on additions tasks and assignments that have sometime taken extended periods of time to complete. This has not deterred Toms quest to continue to improve our department.
 

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