FRAMINGHAM, Mass., April 9, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Rave Mobile Safety, the trusted software partner for campus and public safety, has announced the national winner of the first annual Smart Telecommunicator Awards. Last month, 9-1-1 call-takers and dispatchers (telecommunicators) from across the U.S. were nominated by peers to receive recognition for leadership, performance and overall contributions to their Public Safety Answering Points (PSAPs). The general public reviewed 20 finalist entries online and thousands voted to determine a national winner, named today to draw attention to National Telecommunicators Week (now through April 14) and the valuable services provided by these professionals.
Photos and further details on the winner can be found at the Smart Telecommunicator Awards web page. The Award program is conducted by Rave Mobile Safety's Smart911, the trusted database of critical caller data for 9-1-1, in partnership with the Industry Council for Emergency Response Technologies (iCERT).
Jeffrey Harter of the Chenango County Sheriff's Office, NY was named the national winner of the Smart Telecommunicator Award for taking a frantic 9-1-1 call from a mother who reported that her 17-year-old disabled daughter was choking and unable to breath. Drawing off emergency medical dispatch training, Harter's professionalism, compassion and reassurance kept the caller calm during the desperate situation, enabling him to provide instructions that saved the victim's life.
"Dispatcher Jeff Harter's work exhibits the dedication of this agency to the public we serve. The effort by Jeff to constantly improve his knowledge and ability to handle these types of stressful situations are a credit to him, the Chenango County Sheriff's Office and all the dedicated Public Safety Dispatchers throughout the country. His professional response during this incident saved Lauren LaMariana. I commend him for his attention to detail during this incident and compassion for the life of another," said Sheriff Ernest R. Cutting, Jr. of the Chenango County Sheriff's Office.
"I was in a panic when I realized Lauren was choking," said Gwen Hornbeck, mother of Lauren LaMariana, during a ceremony honoring Harter that was held today at the Chenango County Sheriff's Office. "Jeff calmed me down and I know his instructions helped us to save her life. I can't thank him enough for what he did for my daughter."
"Our goal is to honor telecommunicators for their skills and detail the crucial services that this profession provides," said Tom Axbey, chief executive officer of Rave Mobile Safety. "Jeff's response to this call illustrates the fast-action and composure required to effectively deal with diverse emergency situations."
In addition to the Award, Smart911 presented a donation of $1,000 in Harter's name to the American Cancer Society, a charity of his choosing. Also, Smart911 has named four regional honorees of Smart Telecommunicator Awards, with $500 donations each being made to a charity of their choice.
Regional honorees include:
Central Region – Jose Tovar, Austin Police Department/Emergency Communications, TX: Tovar received a call from a female reporting two suspicious persons outside her residence, when the suspects suddenly attempted to break down her door. The victim reported her boyfriend was getting his gun and intended to use it. Crisis Unit responders and the victim praised Tovar for maintaining a dialogue and relaying critical information that brought calm to the volatile situation.
Northeast Region - William Rowe & Joleen Kinsel, Muskingum County Sheriff's Office, OH: The two Ohio telecommunicators found themselves on the front-line of a situation garnering worldwide attention when a man released 48 exotic animals – including bears, lions and tigers – before committing suicide. Their actions and professionalism amidst this never-before-encountered scenario is cited as preventing serious injury to both citizens and law enforcement.
Southeast Region – Deborah Stewart, Bartlett Police Dept, TN: During a police investigation of a missing person's case, Stewart actively compiled information on the situation which enabled police to apprehend the suspect responsible for the murder of the missing person, as well as three other homicides. Her quick thinking was vital to solving these open cases.
West Region - Karen Stout, Washoe County Sheriff's Office, NV - During a single shift, Stout received calls about a large wildfire breakout, accompanied by winds in excess of 50 MPH that kicked off spot fires throughout the area. At the same time, U.S. Vice President Joe Biden was speaking at a local high school. The telecommunicator's deft dispatching skills are credited with managing the prompt evacuation of the Vice President and ensuring public safety from all fires.
"Both Smart911 and iCERT continually work towards improving 9-1-1 services across the US. We know that without these talented and dedicated telecommunicators, our efforts would be for naught. This is our way of thanking them for all that they do," stated iCERT Executive Director, George Rice.
Smart911 is a national system that provides citizens with the ability to enter information that they want to make available to 9-1-1 telecommunicators through a secure website at www.Smart911.com. Information can include children's photos, medical conditions, disabilities, home addresses of cellphone callers, or other rescue-related information. Smart911 delivers this information automatically with a 9-1-1 call to participating PSAPs. Smart911 enables emergency responders to be more effective because they have access to a rich source of critical health and logistics information before arriving at the scene of an emergency. Smart911 also supports the critical need to effectively capture and manage data for special needs citizens.
About Rave Mobile Safety Rave Mobile Safety is the most trusted software partner for campus and public safety. Used by leading Institutes of Higher Education and State and Local Agencies, the award-winning portfolio of RaveAlert, RaveGuardian, Eyewitness, Smart911 and SmartPrepare enables millions to feel safe, secure and connected. Rave Mobile Safety is headquartered in Framingham, MA. For more information please visit www.ravemobilesafety.com.
About iCERT- the 9-1-1 Industry Alliance The 9-1-1 Industry Alliance ("9IA") represents the industry voice of the public safety industry. Established in December 2005 by a group of prominent leaders of the 9-1-1 industry, the Alliance plays an important role as the voice of industry companies on public policy issues impacting 9-1-1 and the emergency response system. It is the Alliance's belief that the expertise of industry leaders can assist public policymakers and government emergency communications professionals as they address complex choices regarding advanced 9-1-1 alternatives in the years ahead. Find out more at www.911alliance.org.