The staff of the Newtown Emergency Communications Center at Town Hall South, and also an individual dispatcher there, were the recipients of awards this week presented to recognize excellent performance, especially as demonstrated during the intensive period of emergency radio telecommunications traffic following the mass shooting incident at Sandy Hook School on 12/14.
In ceremonies held on the morning of April 17 in the dispatching center, the Atlantic Chapter of the Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials (APCO) presented a plaque to honor the efforts of the dispatching staff.
APCO presented the award to dispatchers Jennifer Barocsi, Elizabeth Cain, Jason Chickos, Sheri Citrone, Daniel McDermott, Jamie Nisbet, Robert Nute, Thomas Ramsdell, Wesley Yllanes, and Director of Emergency Communications Maureen Will.
The award recognizes the staff and management for commitment and dedication to providing exceptional service to citizens and visitors in Newtown.
“This exceptional service was evident as your staff expertly handled the tragic incident beginning at 09:35 hours on December 14, 2012, at the Sandy Hook Elementary School,” the award states.
“As the true first, first responders, your service is exemplary and a shining example of the work done by public safety telecommunicators around the world,” it adds.
National Award For Nute
Also on the afternoon of April 17, town officials gathered in the main meeting room at Newtown Municipal Center to honor Mr Nute, who was one of two dispatchers on duty when the shooting incident occurred.
Mr Nute was named the national winner in the Second Annual Smart Telecommunicator Awards. Four regional winners also were announced. The awards are sponsored by Rave Mobile Safety’s Smart-911 system.
In a statement, Rave said that Mr Nute was named the national winner for routinely inspiring his peers and for mentoring newer members of the communications center. Mr Nute is the center’s communications training officer.
While on dispatching duty as the school shooting incident unfolded, Mr Nute’s “professional and calm demeanor helped emergency responders and his community through the incident,” according to Rave.
“Robert is a true role model, possesses extensive expertise in firefighting, and serves as an adjunct instructor of fire science at a local community college,” Rave said.
In a statement, Ms Will said, “Bob is an invaluable member of our team here at Newtown and is respected by all of us. I am so thrilled to be able to honor him in this way. We all lived through a terrible tragedy together, and Bob’s leadership and dedication helped to facilitate the best possible response.”
At the awards ceremony, First Selectman Pat Llodra lauded Mr Nute’s work, saying that his job performance represents “all that’s the best in dispatching.” Mr Nute’s work demonstrates leadership and compassion, Ms Llodra said.
Mr Nute expressed thanks for the formal recognition of his work.
This week is National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week.