C O N G R A T U L A T I O N S
Nomination - 2015
Telecommunicator of the Year
 
 
Wendy Jones
 
Sheboygan County Sheriff
  
Wendy has been with the Sheriff’s Office for over 40 years. She has exhibited the ability to multitask under the most strenuous situations while maintaining compassion for the individual on the other side of the phone. One of the examples I am talking about is a situation where a despondent subject called in looking for help while wanting to commit suicide. She was able maintain compassion for the caller while using her communication skills to find out where the caller was and at the same time directing the squads to the caller’s location thereby stopping the caller from committing suicide. There are other examples, but not enough space to document them. She is definitely Telecommunicator of the year material.
 

 
C O N G R A T U L A T I O N S
Nomination - 2015
Telecommunicator of the Year
 
 
Vicki Lessard
 
Dodge County Sheriff's Office
  
Telecommunicator Vicki Lessard always has a great attitude. She is steadfast in her ability to keep callers and victims calm prior to officer contact. She always completes her tasks and requests on time, and is always more than willing to help any officer. She is extremely proficient in multitasking and handling extremely stressful situations. All the information received by officers is easy to understand and she "paints a good picture" of what has occurred prior to officer arrival. Telecommunicator Lessard is very consistent in her performances. My shift, (2nd shift) is very lucky to have her working with us. -Officer Keener #542 and K9 "Blade" City of Beaver Dam Police Department
 

 
C O N G R A T U L A T I O N S
Nomination - 2015
Telecommunicator of the Year
 
 
Rick Hammond
 
Dane County Public Safety Communications Center
  
I would like to nominate Rick Hammond for the TC of the year. Rick has worked for Dane County 911 for over 20 years! Rick displays a positive attitude towards the job each and everyday. Rick is always at work with a pleasant attitude and always looking for ways to make things better for the center. Rick is a CTO and has trained numerous fire dispatchers over the years. Rick is very knowledgeable in the fire service field having served as a volunteer for Monona and currently as a lieutenant for the Blooming Grove Fire Department and is also very involved in MABAS and currently serves on the MABAS board. Rick is not afraid to take on additional tasks especially with the new CAD system. Rick, along with our entire tech team has worked countless hours to improve the CAD and the response plans. Rick is always willing to take questions from the employees and answer them to the best of his abilities. Over the summer of 2014 Rick took a call from a building inspector from the city of Fitchburg for a coworker that collapsed and went pulseless and stopped breathing while at a site inspection. Rick remained calm and walked the caller through minutes of CCR until fire rescue got on scene to take over. I’m happy to report because of Ricks instructions, calm demeanor and years of experience, the patient was transported to the hospital and made a full recovery! Rick is looked up to by his peers and is always willing to help a coworker when they may be struggling. Rick is refined in his fire dispatch skills and trains our new folks to very high standards. Overall I’m very happy and honored to nominate Rick for the TC if the year and believe he is very deserving of it due to his willingness and unselfishly sacrifices personal time, be it here at the center, teaching Emergency Fire Dispatch protocols or serving the citizens and guests of Dane County through his devotion to the Blooming Grove Fire Department.
 

 
C O N G R A T U L A T I O N S
Nomination - 2015
Telecommunicator of the Year
 
 
Sgt. Rita McCarthy Name
 
Richland County Sheriff's Department
  
I am nominating Sgt. Rita McCarthy for the WIPSCOM Telecommunicator of the year award. I have worked with Rita for my entire Law Enforcement Career. Rita starts her 27th year with our department during Telecommunicator week 2015. Our telecommunicators are also Jailers. They handle a dual roll so Sgt McCarthy’s job goes beyond the 911 center. Her position also includes the jail operations. We have 13 telecommunicators/jailers that Rita supervises. I feel her work and professionalism can be best summed up by comments from her co-workers: She is a hands on Sgt. She is always working with the Telecommunicators and jail staff. Rita sets up our training and is our APCO EMD Instructor. We get to train with her and then as we are call taking we can ask her questions. We have an APCO certified instructor and a daily trainer on staff. Rita is quick to give a compliment and a thank you. I don’t know of a shift Rita hasn’t worked. She is willing to come in and help out at anytime. Rita makes family a high priority in her life. That shows in how she works with staff and the public. Rita’s experience and her ability to think quickly have helped many Telecommunicators and callers over the years. I still remember the examples she gave during our EMD training. Her real life examples from real situations she has handled make an impression on all of us. We listened to a lot of calls during our EMD training. Rita's dispatching had a flow to it. She gathers the needed information, figures out what is happening, and gets the needed responses sent. Every center should have someone with Rita’s energy and supportive ability. She knows it takes team work to make a PSAP work. She is right in the middle of it. Thanks Rita.
 

 
C O N G R A T U L A T I O N S
Nomination - 2015
Telecommunicator of the Year
 
 
Julie Ganski
 
Marathon County Sheriff's Department
  
Julie Ganski is a Public Safety Telecommunicator with the Marathon County Sheriff’s Office in Wausau. Our agency is the only Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP) in Marathon County which dispatches for 11 law enforcement agencies and 38 fire department/EMS services. We have an operating communications staff of 23 telecommunicators and 6 supervisors. For 2014, we processed over 250,000 calls, which included over 37,000 - 911 calls. As a 12 year veteran of the department Julie has filled many rolls including being a Field Training Officer and a Validations Officer. Her attention to detail and work ethic are well known, not only among members of her division, but throughout the entire department. This was prevalent when Julie was nominated and received the Marathon County Sheriff’s Department Telecommunicator of the Year Award in 2013. For the current evaluation year, Julie answered more 911 calls than anyone in the division and was near the top in CAD entry calls for service. Julie consistently has a positive attitude and truly enjoys her career. In her last evaluation her supervisors stated that “she continues to do great work with her team and is a pleasure to supervise”. Her supervisors know she will complete the tasks assigned to her with the highest of quality. These qualities have resulted in Julie receiving overall “Exceptional” rating on her performance evaluation for the current year. As a result, Julie has once again been nominated for this year’s Marathon County Telecommunicator of the Year award by her immediate supervisors. Julie handles her calls with confidence and compassion. She recently answered a 911 call from a 14 year old girl reporting that her father was suicidal and was armed with several firearms. The caller had contact with her father via cell phone and text messaging. While gathering information and updating responders, Julie was able to establish a rapport with this young girl. She kept her calm and reassured her as the call escalated into a SWAT team response. Even though she answered this 911 call near the end of her 12 hour shift, Julie volunteer to stay over and maintained contact with the frightened young caller. Julie wound up on the phone with her for several hours until crisis negotiators, who were also talking to her father, were able to make contact with her in person. By the end of the night, the call resulted in a peaceful resolution. The next morning, the same young lady called into the 911 center and requested to speak to Julie so she could thank her for all she did to help her and her family during this traumatic experience. Julie happily took the time to speak with her again, providing reassurance and some guidance for this young ladies wellbeing. In October, Julie was recognized by a patrol deputy for going above and beyond her normal duties while investigating a burglary call at a business. The deputy’s report narrative credited PST Ganski for her diligence in continuing to dig into records looking for information. The surveillance video captured a suspect vehicle however it did not identity a license plate number. The deputy named a possible suspect and requested background information on the party. While initial records checks did not result in any connections, PST Ganski kept searching records. She was able to locate a similar vehicle owned by a family member with a different last name. The deputy was able to positively identify that the vehicle as an exact match to the suspect vehicle from the video. This information connected the suspect vehicle and associated parties which linked the two to this specific case. Julie’s efforts enabled investigators to successfully make a positive identification and resulted in the subsequent arrest. The deputy stated that without Julie’s extra efforts he never would have made the necessary connection. Julie received an exceptional performance acknowledgement for her efforts on this call. This is one example of what has become her standard of work. In 2011 Julie volunteered to become a TIME System Validations Officer for the division. Having minimal knowledge, Julie volunteered to assist and sat in for the entire audit. At the completion of the audit it was determined that our procedures needed to be improved as our overall accuracy and completeness rates were well below what we considered acceptable. Julie and our validations team overhauled the current procedures and the results were dramatic. As a result of these changes, we improved from an accuracy rate of 59% and a completeness rate of 60% in 2011 to an accuracy rate of 97% and a completeness rate of 81% for our 2014 audit. We improved our risk assessment from a moderate risk to being considered at a low risk in almost all categories. Julie had once again volunteered to sit in on that entire audit to assist as needed. Applying what she learned, the one area in which we still needed to improve was our warrant entries which were being handled internally by our warrant division. Our warrant division enters approximately 4000 warrants per year. We determined that understaffing in that division was most likely the root cause of errors that were occurring as 1 person is primarily responsible for these entries. As we have come to expect, Julie jumped in with both feet. Knowing the volume of warrants we enter annually and knowing it was going to create a great deal more work for herself, Julie came up with and presented a new procedure in which all warrant entries would be sent to the communications division immediately upon entry. The entries would be checked for accuracy, verify supporting documentation, have errors corrected and be filed by our communications division validations officers. All of this work must be performed in addition to their daily duties working on a radio console. Julie has acted as a liaison between the divisions and has helped all involved make a smooth transition. While this procedure just went into effect on January 1st of this year, we are already seeing a positive impact. I am confident that this procedure will greatly improve our accuracy, completeness and lower our overall risk. Julie was recognized not only by the division commanders but also by our department command staff for her vision and teamwork. While these examples list a few of Julie’s accomplishments, her best attribute is her willingness to help. She never hesitates to assist a coworker, her supervisors, a department member, our user agencies or the citizens we serve. As one of Julie’s supervisors and our departments TIME System Agency Coordinator (TAC) I am proud to recognize her for her efforts and nominate her for this award. Tony Nardi 911/Communications Supervisor Marathon County Sheriff's Department
 

 
C O N G R A T U L A T I O N S
Nomination - 2015
Telecommunicator of the Year
 
 
Lydia Vasquez
 
Milwaukee Police -  TCD
  
LPT VASQUEZ is the ultimate multitasker! She consistently takes calls, helps supervisors adjust staffing, helps with quality control, and resolves issues regarding calls. She does these things with minimal supervision. She handles Spanish translations with ease. She exercises exceptionally good judgement in guiding her junior Telecommunicators. Her maturity and presence are an asset to our Division.
 

 
C O N G R A T U L A T I O N S
Nomination - 2015
Telecommunicator of the Year
 
 
Jessica Swinford
 
Wisconsin State Patrol - Southwest Region DeForest
  
I am nominating Jessica L. Swinford for the 2015 WIPSCOM Telecommunicator of the Year award. Jessica is employed as a Law Enforcement Dispatcher for the Wisconsin State Patrol, based in DeForest, WI. She joined our agency on January 13, 2014, after working as a police officer for several years, in Columbus, GA. When Jessica was hired, the communications work unit was down three positions, so staffing was very tight, and a lot of scheduled overtime was required. Due to her previous experience in law enforcement, Jessica was moved through the training more quickly, and she was able to begin working a position several months earlier than would normally be expected, which helped alleviate some of the pressure on her co-workers, and helped to reduce the amount of overtime. As an additional job duty, Jessica has been assigned the role of TRAIN (Training Resources Available on the Internet) Administrator, for the State Patrol at DeForest Post. The TRAIN Administrator serves as the agency’s interface to the Wisconsin Department of Justice TIME (Transaction Information for the Management of Enforcement) System. Jessica’s responsibilities include assigning and registering personnel for needed training, ensuring biannual recertification occurs before the user’s certification expiration date, and maintaining a database for record keeping. If a user’s certification lapses it will adversely affect their ability to perform job duties. Jessica has done an outstanding job learning the system, and working with personnel to maintain their certification levels. Currently, she is responsible for 155 users, including both sworn and non-sworn staff. The importance of this position has increased greatly as the Division migrates to use of the MACH (Mobile Architecture for Communications Handling) mobile data computer system. Jessica’s supervisor prepared a Positive Performance Report, for a pursuit Jessica handled, as the radio operator, on August 10, 2014. During the pursuit, Jessica maintained a calm and professional demeanor; her radio traffic was outstanding. She accurately rebroadcast all information obtained from the pursuing officer. During the pursuit she handled both receiving and disseminating radio traffic; in addition, she called our partner agencies, keeping them updated with information, and coordinating the response of their units to support the trooper in the pursuit. She coordinated the deployment of tire deflation devices by the Jefferson County Sheriff Department, which resulted in the successful conclusion of the pursuit, with no injuries incurred by our personnel. Outside the regular day shift hours, the DeForest communications center handles remote dispatching responsibilities for the Tomah Post. On the morning of Wednesday, December 24, 2014, Jessica was working at the Tomah desk on an overnight shift, when she received a call from a distraught female caller in Richland County, at 05:40 a.m. The caller was upset, due to problems she was having with a neighbor in her apartment building. She was intoxicated, and made comments indicating a desire to inflict harm on herself, and/or her neighbor. Jessica talked with the caller for over a half hour, at times empathizing with the caller, but also taking charge of the situation, while local law enforcement responded to the scene. When the local police arrived, Jessica talked the caller into opening her door, so she could meet the officer, and discuss the situation further. Jessica’s calm and collected response to a difficult caller averted what could have been a possible suicide attempt, or an assault on another citizen. The call was handled both compassionately and professionally. Jessica has been a positive influence in the communications center. She is currently assisting with mentoring and instructing our newest staff in training. She works well with all members of the work unit, and has a good working relationship with the field personnel. She is an excellent call-taker; when fielding calls from the general public, she keeps control of the conversation, and asks appropriate questions to obtain necessary information from the caller.
 
 

 
C O N G R A T U L A T I O N S
Nomination - 2015
Telecommunicator of the Year
 
 
Melissa Simms
 
Waukesha County Communications
  
We believe that Melissa Simms is the top candidate for the 2014 Telecommunicator of the Year award for all the right reasons. She is a career-dispatcher with a heart & passion for the profession and a true representation of our Core Values: Family, Integrity, Respect, Responsibility, Service, and Trust. From the beginning, she has embraced this ‘job’ as a career and continues to refine her skillset and enhance her knowledge. Melissa has been a Telecommunicator with Waukesha County Communications Center since March of 2008. She is still, after 6 years, studying and keeping up to date with the ever-changing craziness of our business. She created a binder when she began her training and continues to update her reference materials. She is gracious and quick to help others with her knowledge and experience. If an answer is unknown, she will search until she finds what her team needs. The stress of dispatching can wear down even the strongest and best intentions, but through it all, Melissa has displayed great integrity and has given exceptional customer service. Not only for those she serves on the phone but our responders in the field as well. Melissa has learned to maintain a professional demeanor regardless of the situations she manages at work. She has mastered the skills that make her an exceptional Telecommunicator and whether she is call-taking or dispatching, she is constantly multi-tasking and helping her fellow teammates. Melissa received a Lifesaving pin for following EMD protocol and giving life-saving medical instructions to a caller who performed CPR on her husband in New Berlin. It was a beautiful sight to see them both walk into our dispatch center and give Melissa a heartfelt hug. Melissa is motivated to increase her knowledge and embraces the opportunity for education. She works third shift and utilizes her down time to engage with ongoing projects. Without prompting she stays current with group projects, competency checks, continuing education and any other areas of responsibility. Melissa goes above and beyond by either initiating or volunteering for additional projects. She proofreads documents for our center or updates training materials and is willing to help with anything that comes up. Melissa has a special love for the arts and can be artistic herself. After establishing our values last year we had a contest to create our own Challenge Coin. Melissa was one of many who designed coins. After all the employees voted, and everything was tallied, Melissa came up a winner. Her Challenge Coin design was chosen and will be featured on our first ever WCC Challenge Coin launching this April. Finding good employees is hard, but keeping happy, joyful, and satisfied ones is even harder. We are fortunate because Melissa is one of courageous individuals that really loves what she does. She shows up every day to help those that need it, and not just for the pat on the back. She is being nominated for this award for so many reasons, but one of the most critical components to her ‘success’ is that she continuously shows respect to not only her peers but her management team. Her third shift co-workers say she is “encouraging and caring in thoughtful ways like giving cards and sweet gifts for all kinds of things”. She is a dog-lover as well and shows a special compassion for those other animal lovers on the team. Melissa exhibits professionalism by the way she walks, talks, and looks. The way she works with integrity is a great exhibit of her ‘career dispatcher’ mindset. She functions in a leadership position and is trusted with great responsibility so working as an Operator in Charge (OIC) is easy for her. She manages the dispatch floor when the supervisor is absent. Training and teaching is on her resume as well, Melissa is a certified CTO and one of our Classroom Instructors who teaches CAD to new hires. She is a well-known face in the community as a longtime member of our Community Education Team (CET). She interacts well with our customers and the kids love her. Her heart is evident during the holidays as well when she volunteers with local Police Departments for “Shop with a cop” events at Christmas time. Melissa truly cares, has a heart full of passion for emergency services and wants our profession and center to be a success. For all these reasons we hope you agree that she embodies the heart of a true “Telecommunicator of the Year.” Thank you for your consideration.
 

 
C O N G R A T U L A T I O N S
Nomination - 2015
Telecommunicator of the Year
 
 
Marcia Manson
 
University of Wisconsin Police Department
  
Law Enforcement Dispatcher (LED) Manson has dedicated more than 30 years to the profession. She has always been a team player, offering to switch her hours, pick up extra overtime, even cancelling vacation days to help out when needed. Marcia will take on any job assignment without complaint and has helped many of her co-workers to get time off for special events by unselfishly switching shifts or days off. Marcia is a consummate professional and is always the steady, calming voice on the other end of the phone or radio. In addition to her regular dispatching duties, she’s always helping out with other various projects around the Communications Center. Marcia is also a department Mentor, helping newer employees through the rough spots of training and learning the “lay of the land”. For many years, LED Manson was the lead training officer in dispatch and helped to create several organized/formal training programs that have been used throughout the years. She has stepped back from active training and now takes on more of a support role – but she’s always willing to jump in and assist if/when needed. Marcia’s calming influence has helped me personally (and numerous other co-workers) on many occasions. She’s always ready with a smile or her quick sense of humor, and helps make the UWPD Communications Center a great place to be! The police and security officers know that when Marcia’s on duty, they’re in good hands! Throughout the years, she has taken part in several charity events – most frequently, the Polar Plunge for Special Olympics. Marcia has jumped into the icy waters of Lake Monona more than 10 times, raising literally thousands of dollars for Special Olympics. She’s one of the most giving, unselfish people I’ve ever met and deserves this award more for her consistent, high-quality service and commitment than any one specific call.
 

 
C O N G R A T U L A T I O N S
Nomination - 2015
Telecommunicator of the Year
 
 
Elisa Marquez
 
Milwaukee Police Department
  
I am one of the supervisors assigned to the Technical Communications Division and Telecommunicator Marquez has been under my supervision for two and one half years. I am proud to nominate Telecommuicator Marquez for this honor. PT Marquez has consistently demonstrated all of the qualities listed in your criteria. PT Marquez efficiently performs her duties and interacts well with internal as well as external callers. PT Marquez displays an outgoing personality, cheerful disposition, and pleasant demeanor. When dealing with callers, she is very articulate and spends extra time with assisting and providing the callers with additional information. PT Marquez can be depended upon to complete tasks given to her by her supervisors and needs only minimal supervisory oversight. She communicates clearly and articulately when handling calls for service and is able to effectively listen to, understand and accurately document callers’ needs. She exhibits a strong working knowledge of her specific position and responsibilities. PT Marquez displays a positive attitude towards work and is dedicated to carrying out the goals and objectives of the division. PT Marquez is one of my go to persons when there are new hires and I can depend on her to assist with the OJT training without hesitation. She continues to be a high performer in call activity. PT Marquez demonstrates high level of expertise, knowledge, and is highly skilled in all areas of her job thus making her an asset to the Technical Communications Division. PT Marquez continually goes above and beyond her telecommunication duties. For example: On Friday, January 23, 2015, at 8:28am, Telecommunicator Elisa Marquez took a 911 call for police. The caller stated to PT Marquez that her child’s father had stabbed several people in the house and was still armed with the knife. The caller was in a frantic demeanor, and very hard to understand. PT Marquez remained calm and in control as she instructed the caller throughout the call. Several times during the call, PT Marquez could hear the caller being brutally attacked, and quickly analyzed the severity of the call. PT Marquez did an exceptional job of maintaining control of the telephone conversation; with her skill and patience. PT Marquez calmly and professionally guided the caller through a horrific emergency giving concise instructions to the caller. She simultaneously relayed pertinent information to the dispatcher/Milwaukee Fire in a timely fashion. PT Marquez distinguished herself by providing exceptional performance even in the presence of escalating responsibilities. PT Marquez sensed the serious of the caller’s medical condition, the caller's momentary lapses in communication, and realized it was crucial to keep the caller engaged in conversation. Her knowledge and quick thinking allowed her to anticipate crucial details as she continued to solicit specific pertinent information. I am confident that PT Marquez’s actions resulted in keeping the victim alert and calm during a horrific incident, resulting in the prolonging of life until police and medical could arrive on scene. PT Marquez’s carefully communicated instructions reflected skill and quick thinking. As the nature and severity of the situation escalated, she was able to keep an emotional, frightened, and terrified victim calm and alert, even after being stabbed multiple times, and upon discovering the body of her infant child. PT Marquez is an exceptional asset to the Technical Communication Division as well as the Milwaukee Police Department. PT Marquez should be recognized as Telecommunactor of the Year for her demonstration of professionalism and exceptional skills.
 
 

 
C O N G R A T U L A T I O N S
Nomination - 2015
Telecommunicator of the Year
 
 
Joanne Heitkemper
 
Price County Sheriff's Office
  
This year Deputy Joanne Heitkemper will be celebrating her 34th year with the Price County Sheriff's Office. And for all those 35 years, Deputy Heitkemper has shown a positive attitude and dedication to her job and the department which exceeds expectations. I am not nominating Deputy Heitkemper for how she handled a single event, but for how she has handled herself and her job for the totality of her career. Deputy Heitkemper also has the distinction of being the first woman hired as a sworn law enforcement officer in Price County. Deputy Heitkemper takes great pride in her appearance and is always professional while in uniform. Deputy Heitkemper does the extra things that are needed to keep the dispatch center in order and is never afraid or unwilling to take on any task assigned. Like all good telecommunicators, Deputy Heitkemper exhibits exceptional calmness, confidence and composure under pressure while handling calls from logging accidents to fatalities to lost hunters. As a single dispatcher in a small center, Deputy Heitkemper demonstrates a remarkable ability to handle multiple radio transmissions, phone calls, 9-1-1 calls and window customers at one time. Deputy Heitkemper is also very resourceful when there is a need to get more information about someone or something and is tenacious in trying to locate abandoned 9-1-1 calls. Deputy Heitkemper also acts as the department's TAC Officer and is very dedicated, going above and beyond to assure record entry quality. In preparation for the annual TIME System audit, Deputy Heitkemper goes through every file for accuracy, sometimes on her days off. Deputy Heitkemper is also the department's Communications Training Officer and helps to train new hires on dispatch procedures and protocols. Deputy Heitkemper's dedication assures that new hires have the necessary skills to thrive and succeed in a dispatch center. In addition, Deputy Heitkemper is also actively involved in MABAS implementation and training with the Fire Association in Price County. Her efforts will help to ensure that when the time comes, the department will be prepared to implement MABAS in our center. Deputy Heitkemper is currently slated to attend Leadership in Police Organizations and takes every opportunity increase her knowledge and improve her skill sets. In 2014, Deputy Heitkemper was honored by the department with the Telecommunicator Award for her handling of a logging incident in which an individual cut his own leg off while alone in the woods and the Distiguished Service Award as a result of the high level of integrity, professionalism and dedication to the department and law enforcement profession in general and the care and compassion shown to victims of crime or circumstance. Finally in 2014, Deputy Heitkemper was awared the Good Conduct Award for more than 30 years of service without reprimand. In an era where sworn officers are no longer the norm as telecommunicators, Deputy Heitkemper has been able to continuiously fulfill her obligation on the road as well as on the desk, and maintains a positive image personally and professionally. In closing, the Price County Sheriff's Office would like to nominate Deputy Heitkemper for the 2015 WIPSCOM Telecommunicator of the Year Award for the 34 years of dedicated service she has provided to those who live in and travel through Price County.
 

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