Dispatchers from emergency agencies were honored as Telecommunicators of the Year by the Rutherford County Emergency Communications District.
Telecommunicators of the Year are Brandy Sweeney of Murfreesboro Police and Murfreesboro Fire and Rescue, Michelle Corum of Rutherford County Sheriff's Office/Rutherford County Fire and Rescue, Reasa Thibodeaux of Smyrna Police, Andrea White, Amber Bryant, Kenneth Criswell, Candace Elmore, Jamie Harrell, Cris Kamka, Dalivus Morgan and Priscilla West of La Vergne Police, Penny Barrett of Rutherford County Emergency Medical Services and Benjamin Hunt of MTSU Police.
The awards were presented during National Public safety Telecommunicators Week and a special event on Friday.
Sweeney is one of two dispatchers to ensure NCIC files are accurate and up-to-date. She takes great pride in making sure all entries are correct and ready for audit. Over the past year, she worked tirelessly to update the sex offender and violent offender files. Her dedication and passion to making sure this information is accurate helps to ensure the safety of all officers.
She is a dedicated team player who demonstrates her skills and good judgement on a daily basis. She always assists others by answering the phone, giving a co-worker a break or filling in when needed.
Corum received the award for keeping a distraught man calm when his mother attempted suicide and left the house last May. He was so upset he couldn't give the address. Corum obtained the address and verified it with the caller and send responders to the home.
Corum kept talking to him, keeping him calm and reassuring him deputies were on the way to look for her. Throughout the call, the man cried and at times was hard to understand but she remained calm for him and got help there quickly. The officers ended up finding his mother and getting her the help she needed.
She is known by co-workers as the "detective dispatcher" because if a co-worker/responder needs to find someone or some information, she will use every available resource to locate the information.
In nominating Thibodeaux, Smyrna Police officers and co-workers said she is very thorough and professional and consistently maintains her composure and awareness. She has a calm steady voice, even in the most difficult of calls and situations, always focusing on the safety of emergency personnel.
She shows dedication working overtime and lending a hand. Supervisors said Thibodeaux takes command of a call and makes well thought out decisions related to the proper emergency response. She was chosen as a trainer, based on the skills, knowledge, communication and leadership.
Emergency Communications Specialists White, Bryant, Criswell, Elmore, Harrell, Kamka, Morgan and West are LaVergne's heard yet unseen heroes who are the "Thin Gold Line.
Over the past 10 months, La Vergne Police lost four dispatchers. The remaining dedicated, hard-working personnel worked extra days, missed special days with their families and postponed or cancelled vacations. One worked their new job in our Records Section, and helped regularly in Emergency Communications, and is serving full-time in ECS until new dispatchers are trained.
Barrett is a dedicated employee and a true professional. She always comforts and reassures callers. She continues to be an integral part of the training team, especially Basic Telecommunicator training of every 911 telecommunicator in Rutherford County.
During the past year, Hunt repeatedly demonstrated impressive maturity and skill in providing exceptional dispatch qualities to the community, the department and the public that he serves.
When challenged with difficult or stressful situations, Hurt handled a wide variety of situations with professionalism and good decision-making abilities. While interacting with difficult or emotional people on several occasions, Hurt kept his cool under pressure and still provided great service and attention to detail in his work.
This past year, he continued to play an active and important role in the MTSU Police Department's Communications Center even while working through personal challenges. Hurt showed he is a great team player who provides valuable support and assistance to all who ask him for help.