3 Colo. county dispatchers awarded for life-saving work

Two dispatchers received Lifesaver Awards for two separate incidences involving critical calls and another dispatcher was honored for giving childbirth instructions to a woman in labor


Morgan McKenzie
Greeley Tribune, Colo.

WELD COUNTY, Colo. — The Weld County's Department of Public Safety Communications honored three dispatchers from the Weld County Regional Communications Center for their heroic efforts in saving two lives and helping bring a baby safely into the world.

A Weld County Board of Commissioners news release Monday discussed the three people's efforts that have impacted the lives of many in Weld County.

"Every day, emergency situations occur, and every day the people who work in Public Safety Communications are there to help others through the worst situations of their lives," Weld County Commissioner Chair Steve Moreno said. "Dispatchers provide a critical service to the public. These awards show their professionalism and skills are key in generating positive outcomes to many challenging situations." (Photo/Weld County Government)

Two dispatchers, Ashley White and Josh Rysavy, received Lifesaver Awards for two separate incidences involving critical calls that saved lives in February and March. Both incidences required the dispatchers to provide CPR instructions to callers with an unresponsive family member. Their instructions led to the caller's success in resuscitating their family members and surviving the incidents.

To earn a Lifesaver Award, a dispatcher's call must be evaluated by internal teams, according to the release. An award is only given out if the subject of the call survives, call standards are met with 100% proficiency and if the team determines the call completed the criteria established by the International Academies of Emergency Dispatch.

The third dispatcher honored was Jennifer Fretwell, who received the department's Stork Award for giving childbirth instructions to a pregnant woman deep in labor. The baby boy was welcomed into the world safety and successfully, in part because of Fretwell's effort in April.

Weld County Commissioner Chair Steve Moreno made a statement in the release about the staff of the department's service to the Weld County community, and the awarded members accomplishments.

"Every day, emergency situations occur, and every day the people who work in Public Safety Communications are there to help others through the worst situations of their lives," Moreno said. "Dispatchers provide a critical service to the public. These awards show their professionalism and skills are key in generating positive outcomes to many challenging situations."

For the past couple years, the public safety communications department received recognition for its staff's excellence and hard work. The WCRCC was acknowledged as an Accredited Center of Excellence by IAED in 2019. The following year, the center was praised by NICE Public Safety as the nation's top public safety answering point.

The recent awards for White, Rysavy and Fretwell's work add to the many achievements of the county's Public Safety Communications.

WCRCC Manager Tina Powell is prideful of the three dispatchers' accomplishments, the release said. Powell discussed how staff continues to show a selfless attitude by working 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to respond to calls.

"When you sit with dispatchers and you watch them do what they're doing, that sense of duty is so strong with them," Powell said in the release. "They miss holidays and time with their families; that sense of pride in their job is so strong, and they never complain. That happiness tells me we're doing something right."

For more information on Public Safety Communications in Weld County, go to http://bit.ly/publicsafetycom.

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(c)2021 the Greeley Tribune (Greeley, Colo.)

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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