Chesterton Tribune

 

 

911 dispatchers honored for years of service

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By JEFF SCHULTZ

In what has become an annual tradition, the Porter County Commissioners paid tribute Tuesday to the men and women who are at the heart of public safety in Porter County.

Whenever a squad car, fire truck or ambulance arrives on the scene of an emergency, it’s a County dispatcher that got them there, said County E-911 Communications Director John Jokantas.

“Our 911 telecommunicators are the hidden heroes and in a lot of cases the ‘first’ first responder,” he said.

Jokantas told the Commissioners that it is Nataional Public Safety Telecommunicator Week, which started on Sunday, April 13 and runs until Saturday, April 19, to publically recognize the service 911 staff provides.

The County’s 911 dispatch center employs over 50 full-time and part-time telecommunicators who work all hours of the day, 365 days a year, Jokantas said.

“They want to do nothing more than help the visitors, citizens and members of Porter County’s public safety agencies in their time of need,” Jokantas said.

This year, 911 Assistant Director of Administration C.J. Wittmer celebrated his 10th year with the department.

Serving 20 years at the dispatch center, Day Shift Supervisor Bonnie Reeder was given a certificate of service.

A special plaque was handed to the center’s longest tenured employee Paula Alyea, who is in her 35th year as a dispatcher.

“She is very dedicated to her job and is someone for the younger group to look up to,” said Jokantas, who personally thanked Alyea for helping him find his bearings when he came on the job a few years ago. “Paula, in reality, like a few of the other people we have honored the past couple of years, got me to where I am today and I have never forgotten that.”

County Commissioner President John Evans, R-North, gave his personal thanks to Alyea looking back on the years she helped him when he was the County Coroner.

Also honored but not in attendance were Rachel Brantly who celebrated her 10th year at the center and Andrew Barber who celebrated his 5th.

 

 

 

Posted 4/16/2014