Telecommunicator of the Year
Sara Geiszler
Oneida County Sheriff's Department
Sara Geiszler comes to work early, usually toting a bag full of work projects she took home the night before (in case she had some spare time outsideof work to work on them). In the other hand, she’s often carrying a coffee carrier with several Styrofoam cups of piping hot coffee, maybe a bag or two of chips and any other thing that a co-worker may have asked for when Geiszler called to ask if anyone needed anything from Kwik Tripon her way in. She begins each day smiling, refreshed and eager to face new challenges; and all this, despite the fact that she just travelled an hour and 15 minutes (on a good day) to get to work. Geiszler has more than 22 years of experience in public safety with more than17 of those years being in a dispatch capacity--either at the Muskego Police Department, Mukwonago Police Departmentor currently at the Oneida County Sheriff’s Office. Geiszler has worked for the Oneida County Communications Center for just over two years. In 2015, she was promoted to Telecommunication’s Sergeant and also oversees the Communications Training Officer Program. She servesas a role model of individual commitment to a group effort, service and professionalism. Her daily performance of duties is an inspiration and example to others. She stays positive when dealing with difficult callers and takes a genuine interest in helping others. She maintains composure when faced with stressful situations. She understands why accuracy is essential in CAD calls and gives careful attention to detail. She looks for what needs to be done rather than waiting tobe asked todo something. She cultivates a culture of openness and information sharing and consistently pursues her own professional development. She works well with the public, other agencies and with co-workers. Geiszler consistently looks beyond just doing her job and truly cares about the Communication Center’s overall mission. She readily shares her expertise with other staff in order to develop their skills. Geiszler took it on herself to document common process and steps in dispatch processes in an internal troubleshooting guide for herself. She then, more than willingly, shared those documents with others. And that was well before she was a sergeant. She has been instrumental in helping the Communications Lieutenant update and write new policies and better organize materials in the Communications Center so that everyone can understand and find information when it’s needed. And when a new policy is updated, she makes sure that it stays updated and keeps with it. Geiszler developed the dispatch procedure for dealing with NCERT (North Central Emergency Response Team) calls, something newto our area. When Marathon County signedon as the back-up dispatch center for NCERT, she worked with them so that we were all on the same page. She developed competencies, a competency plan and a competency timeline to make sure that all telecommunicators are familiar with how to handle low volume/high priority/high liability calls. She carries out the plan, ensuring that every telecommunicator has the knowledge and skills to know what is expected of them in these situations. Geiszler’s mission consciousness doesn’t stop at the dispatch door. She regularly takes on additional responsibilities in areas beyond her basic duties, both within the Communications Center and within the Department as a whole. She was elected by her peers to represent the Emergency Management Division on the Department’s Round Table Team. (The purpose of the Round Table Team is to createan environment where its members can participate in leadership development and training, have responsibility concerning the maintenance and development of organizational culture, have inputon policy and procedural development and implementation, effect change, participate in binding decisions, improve inter-departmental communications, participate in innovation and problem solving, handle organizational complexity, conflict resolution and enhance professional adaptability and team building.) One of the Round Table’s initiatives was to look at the Department’s mission statement and guiding values. The Round Table solicited ideas to revamp our Core Values and Geiszler’s idea is the idea that was ultimately chosen by employees to represent this. On her own time, Geiszler helped design a logo for the recently founded Round Table, and solicited cost estimates to display the Core Values throughout the Sheriff’s Department. Geiszler is willing to help all co-workers succeed.One of Geiszler’s strengths is in Microsoft Excel. Becauseof this, the department’s radio technician asked Geiszler if she could help him streamline a process he was currently doingby hand for radio tower checks. Geiszler willingly helped and set up a computerized process and dynamic online worksheet for him. Geiszler adapts willingly to change and changing priorities—things that happen all the time in this profession. She is willing to work long hours oran altered work schedule on little or no notice anddo whatever it takesto get the job done. It is not one heroic event that has Sara Geiszler deserving to be named Telecommunicator of the Year. It is the selfless effort she puts forth every day to ensure that the first responders, citizens and visitorsof Oneida County get the best possible service from this department. And it’s the way she handles and prepares for all calls…because you just never know what will be on the other end when you pick up that phone.

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