The City of Chicago Honors the Outstanding Emergency Personnel During National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week

April 12, 2021

The City of Chicago's Office of Emergency Management and Communications (OEMC) is celebrating National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week, April 11-17, as part of National 9-1-1 Education Month to honor the outstanding contributions of the City's 9-1-1 workforce and other essential personnel.  On Wednesday, April 14 and Thursday, April 15, OEMC will acknowledge the accomplishments and achievements within its 9-1-1 division from the past year with an awards ceremony during the roll call for each watch.

“After an unprecedented year, we are proud to applaud the extraordinary dedication of OEMC staff, in particular our 9-1-1 workforce, for the challenging jobs they carry out every day to protect Chicagoans,” said OEMC Executive Director Rich Guidice. “No matter what the role orcircumstance, all of our OEMC essential workers contribute to the overall public safety operations citywide and the critical task of keeping residents of this city safe."

OEMC Employee Awards and Special Recognition
On Wednesday, April 14 and Thursday, April 15, OEMC will celebrate newly graduated 9-1-1 call takers and dispatchers as well as recognize those who have gone above and beyond in carrying out their duties as call takers and dispatchers with awards.

In addition to dedicated awards recognizing 9-1-1 staff, the OEMC will also be recognizing all essential employees within the department for their outstanding work, contribution, dedication,and resiliency as part of the OEMC team during the unique challenges faced in 2020. In additionto the department's 9-1-1 workforce, this also includes the OEMC's emergency management, 3-1-1, and traffic management staff who played a critical role during the COVID-19 pandemic by processing 9-1-1 and 3-1-1 calls, coordinating citywide response efforts through the Emergency Operations Center, and managing traffic at COVID-19 testing sites.

Commendations, Awards of Merit and Team Performance and Other Award Highlights
 Several 9-1-1 personnel will be receiving Awards of Commendation for saving the life of a suicidal resident by communicating with family members in order to locate their loved  one or the individual in distress.

 Multiple Police Dispatchers are receiving an Award of Merit at the recommendation of the Chicago Police Department for their skilled professionalism over the radio during the Summer of 2020.

 Select 9-1-1 personnel will also be receiving Awards of Merit for providing life-saving CPR instructions for an elderly family member in one instance and an infant in another event. In each instance, the handling call taker calmly instructed the caller on chest compressions, counting along with the caller until the Chicago Fire Department arrived on scene.

 Team Performance Awards will be given to acknowledge excellent teamwork, including 9-1-1 personnel assisting on-scene Chicago Fire Department personnel in finding a trapped resident by focusing on the ambient noises heard in the background to pinpoint the location of the resident during a Still & Box alarm fire.

 Additionally, the OEMC's Emergency Management Team is being recognized for their work during the COVID-19 Pandemic, including the City's longest Emergency Operations Center activation in its history. The 3-1-1 Call Center and Traffic Control Aides will also be recognized.

2020 Illinois Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials (IL-APCO) Award
Earlier this year, Martin Doyle, Deputy Director at OEMC, was named Director of the Year and Susan Dennewitz, Police Communications Officer II of OEMC was named Trainor of the Year by the Illinois Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials (IL-APCO). Over the past 25 years, OEMC has been recognized for the award-winning staff who are committed to ensuring the safety and well-being of residents.

In its 25-year history, OEMC has been home to many APCO award winners, recognized nationally and locally, in public safety, including Dispatcher of the Year in 2013, 2017, 2019; Public Safety Telecommunications Trainer of the Year in 2010, 2014, 2016; and national honors in 2016 for Trainer of the Year and 2017 and 2019 for Dispatcher of the Year.

Chicago’s 9-1-1 Center is the home of several award-winning call takers, dispatchers and training personnel, with outstanding achievements recognized nationally and statewide.OEMC’s 9-1-1 call takers are trained for three months, 9-1-1 dispatchers are trained for 6 months and 9-1-1 supervisors are trained for an additional six weeks. OEMC is proud of the commitment and contribution of Chicago's Dispatch Operations personnel for their work on behalf of the residents and visitors to Chicago.

For additional information, visit our website at Follow the Chicago Office of Emergency Management and Communications on Facebook, Twitter (@ChicagoOEMC) and Instagram (chicago_oemc_911) using the hashtags #ChicagoOEMC #Smart911 #Chicago911

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