A ceremony held Monday afternoon at the Pottawattamie County Courthouse Board of Supervisors Hearing Room gave recognition to four County Communications Center employees.
Assistant Supervisor Scott Vandervort, Operators Scott Moroney and Torie Brummett each received Life Save awards while Training Coordinator Angela Dobyns was awarded a letter of commendation and challenge coin.
The event was held as part of National Telecommunicators Week.
Pottawattamie County Sheriff Jeff Danker spoke of each employee’s experience and the lives they helped save on the job.
Vandervort has been with the Communications Center for more than 17 years, nine of which have been as assistant shift supervisor. He has previously been recognized for job performance several times and has received three letters of commendation in the past. Monday, he received his third Life Save award.
On June 24, 2018, Vandervort answered a 911 call from a distraught caller who heard her husband fall and thought he was dead. Vandervort was able to calm her and give instructions on how to do CPR. As she grew tired, Vandervort encouraged her to keep going until help arrived.
Moroney has been with the Communications Center for nearly 22 years. He began as a part-time dispatcher in 1997 and has previously been recognized for job performance several times. He has previously received a letter of commendation and received his second Life Save award Monday.
On March 7, the 911 Center received two hang-up calls from a Council Bluffs residence. Moroney attempted to make contact with the caller and reached a male subject who stated there were no problems. The male hung up and Moroney said he had a gut feeling something was not right at the location.
Moroney called again and could hear a female in the background faintly calling for help as he tried to question the male subject, who hung up again. Moroney entered a call for service after two more attempts to call back and officers arrived at the location to find the female with multiple stab wounds.
On March 18, the female called the center and spoke to the call-taker. She adamantly believes 911 saved her life.
Brummett has been with the Communications Center for two years. Monday she received her first Life Save award.
On Jan. 26, at 12:59 p.m. Brummett answered a 911 call from a frantic female. Brummett was on the phone with the caller for seven minutes and gave CPR instructions to the caller because her husband was blue and not breathing properly. As the caller pleaded with her husband not to leave her, Brummett encouraged her to keep going until responders arrived.
Dobyns has been with the Communications Center for nearly 18 years, 10 of which have been as training and quality assurance coordinator. She has been recognized for job performance several times and was part of the telecommunicator team to recently win an APCO team award. Monday’s commendation was her second.
Danker said that in 2014 the idea was floated to replace their current computer system. Dobyns studied different systems, met with experts and worked with other departments to find the best solution.
“You were present at every vital step during the process,” Danker said.
After the ceremony, Danker addressed those present and said it is obvious the communications team does a great job.
“We are very proud of everyone in the department. What they do is extremely important and we wanted to thank you for the hard work,” he said.