MOUNT VERNON — As part of the celebrations surrounding National Public Safety Telecommunicator Week, Donna Durbin was named 2018 Dispatcher of the Year. Chosen by her fellow dispatchers, Durbin is a 26-year veteran of Knox County 9-1-1.
Laura Webster, operations director for Knox County 9-1-1, along with the Knox County Commissioners, presented the award to Durbin on Tuesday.
“She is our most senior dispatcher,” said Webster. “Donna has excellent knowledge, is very detail oriented, and never hesitates to help her coworkers.
“That was one thing that was common in all of the votes,” added Webster, referring to the help that Durbin so freely gives.
Durbin, along with Lisa Smith, also received an attendance award.
“These are our two most senior dispatchers,” said Webster. “I think that says a lot about them. They still love their job.”
Stevie Betscher received the Above and Beyond award. Lindsey Creager received the Shining Star award, and Janet Monroe received the Best Attitude award.
The commissioners passed resolutions honoring Durbin as Dispatcher of the Year and recognizing April 14-20 as National Public Safety Telecommunicator Week.
“This week is for them to have fun and relax as much as they can while they are still taking calls,” said Webster.
Law enforcement and EMS units have supplied the 9-1-1 dispatch center with coffee, cookies, doughnuts, and other goodies this week as a way of thanking the dispatchers for their service. Tim Geiger, American Family Insurance, lit the Kokosing footbridge and historic viaduct yellow this week to honor the dispatchers.
In other business on Tuesday, Webster told the commissioners that the department had its kick-off meeting for its new Computer-Aided Dispatch System. Webster anticipates the CAD system will go live in May 2020.
“It will take up about a whole year to convert all of that data between all agencies,” she explained.
The commissioners also approved a notice to go out asking for bids on the renovation of the former Central School on East Chestnut Street. Bids are due back on May 9 and will be opened that day at 10 a.m.
“It's been a lot of work and a lot of effort, so we are glad to get it to this point,” said Jason Booth, Knox County administrator.