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County 911 telecommunicators recognized

By Heather Graves

BROWN COUNTY – Dispatchers, operators, telecommunicators, headset heroes – whatever the title, these individuals are behind the scenes deciphering situations, reaching out to first responders in the field and possibly initiating emergency measures for the person on the other line.
They are the first voice callers hear during an emergency call – making quick decisions every day that can help save a life.
And those efforts haven’t gone unnoticed.
The county took a moment April 14 to honor those who went above and beyond the call of duty earning recognition for their dedicated work.
“Every year, each and every telecommunicator takes calls and performs to a level that should be recognized,” Director of Public Safety Communications (PSC) Cullen Peltier said.
The ceremony was part of an effort to highlight workers during National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week.
“This is probably one of the more challenging years that we’ve had in this department from top to bottom…,” Peltier said. “So many people stepped up, filled vacant shifts and open positions and seamlessly provided the excellent service that all our citizens and partners have learned to expect. We are here today to recognize all the people that make this one of the best centers in the entire country.”
Brown County Executive Troy Streckenbach said over the last two years, the public safety telecommunication department had to get creative with how it did things because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We know from an operational standpoint, specifically when we were trying to make the space safe for everyone (because of the COVID-19 pandemic), we had to make a major pivot in terms of how we did that,” Streckenbach said. “Whether we’re utilizing some of our other assets in the county so that we can have one team over here one team over there. The reality is that a lot of people have come in for hours that weren’t planned to make sure that we could answer that call. And I just wanted to personally say thank you – thank you to those who are in attendance, even the ones who are working, those who are spending a little bit of sleep for their next shift for really answering the call in terms of making sure that when a resident, like myself, has an incident that we do dial 911 someone is there.”
He recognized Brown County telecommunicators, who he said play a critical role in an emergency, with an official proclamation.
“In order for first responders to do their job, (911 operators) have to have accuracy,” he said. “They have to have timeliness and they need to make sure that the person on the other end who is having an emergency, is in a position where when first responders arrive, that the situation is in the best hands it possibly can be. So you play a vital role. And it gives me great pleasure and privilege and pride to be able to recognize that through an official proclamation.”

Brown County Telecommunicators
From left, Telecommunicator of the Year Jenny Conley; Amy Shannon, Brown County Public Safety Communications (PSC) assistant director; and PSC Director Cullen Peltier.

A handful of telecommunicators and operating teams were recognized with awards.
The Critical Call Award was presented to those on duty and involved during the active-shooter incident at the Oneida Casino May 1, 2021.
“Every single 911 line lit up with at least one caller whispering there’s an active shooter,” Amy Shannon, Brown County PSC assistant director, said. “Within seconds nearly every person in the room was fielding calls… trying to get and relay the best information possible to keep those responders safe. A page went out from the communication center asking for immediate backup for an active shooter at the Oneida Casino – two supervisors and multiple telecommunicators responded within minutes, everyone working together to turn chaos into calm.”
Those recognized include: supervisors: Dave Panure and Joe Massie; lead telecommunicator Katie Hendrickson and telecommunicators Kimberly Brester, Christopher Brownell, Heather Duchateau, Samantha Ervin, Lisa Holton, Payton Kassner, Kirk Parker, John Wampler and Isabella Willemon.
This year’s lead telecommunicator of the year award was presented to Kayla Konrad.
“You have played an active role in the management team right from the start,” Peltier said. “We appreciate the ideas you bring to the table. You are a great asset, and I truly appreciate your passion and your knowledge of this department organization and everything.”
Jenny Conley was named telecommunicator of the year.
“One of the things about her is that she’s excellent at her job, without making anyone else feel less,” Shannon said. “She sets the bar high for herself and then models what she expects from the people around her.”
Other awards include:
• Critical Call – Holly Krause
• TEAM Award – Nicole Nelson and Nicole Topel
• Customer Service Award – Sarah Wypiszynski
• Quiggles Spirit Award – Therese Rufledt

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