Dispatchers earn top award

November 16, 2013

It’s been a tough year in Hood County not only for peace officers and first responders dealing with serious emergencies, but also for 911 dispatchers.

On Tuesday, the dispatchers as a unit were recognized for their outstanding performance under pressure when they were named Agency of the Year for the North Central Texas Council of Governments (NCTCOG).

Jason Smith, 911 operations specialist for NCTCOG, nominated the Hood County dispatchers for the annual award from among 43 different agencies in the North Texas region for showing outstanding interaction, training and public education.

Hood County Sheriff’s Office Lieutenant Kathy Jividen, who supervises the local 911 operators, said Smith told her that they had “won it hands down.”

Jividen, who learned of the award and accepted the plaque that goes with it Tuesday while at a monthly NCTCOG meeting in Arlington, said, “It’s really quite an honor to receive that.”

Emergencies this year have included a tornado in May that killed six residents, two shooting incidents in one day that took the life of a deputy and wounded a police officer, and an incident in which a man identified as “armed and dangerous” fired an AR-15 a total of 21 times toward two police officers and one deputy and later held his firearm to the throat of an 80-year-old man.

“Hood County dealt with a lot this past year,” Smith said. “The dispatchers went above and beyond with those major incidents. They were very professional in their duties when they were facing some very stressful times.”

Sheriff Roger Deeds said, “I’m very, very proud of them. We’ve had a tough year with the tornado and the shooting and so much different stuff. Everything you could ever dream of goes through there, so I’m very proud of each and every dispatcher we’ve got in there.”

The 16 members of the Hood County dispatch crew are:

April Rodriguez, Georgianna Feind, Mollie Fitts, Janet Vickers, Jennifer Earlston, Stephanie Jones, Katrina Davis, Samantha Peck, Debbie Young, Tyler Brown, Julie Baxter, Brandy Smith, Ashley Towe, Jennifer Dillard, Anna Quintanilla and Cassie Clewis.

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