National Telecommunications Week
Last week the National Emergency Number Association (NENA) awarded a number of employees in our Portland Regional Communications Center. Silent Hero awards went to Andrew Dziegielewski and Hiram del Rio, and the following employees - Kevin Dickinson, Phil Viola, Anthony Pasquale, Jessica Ramsay, Sanela Napijalo, Svetlana Miljkovic and Cheryl Brewster - were all awarded for a call that came in last summer.
On July 15th dispatch received a report of an armed robbery at 2251 hours. Just a few minutes after clearing this incident, the lines lit up again at 0251 on July 16th reporting yet another armed robbery. Both robberies were located in South Portland and being such a small agency, this proved to be overwhelming for them needing assistance from many other agencies. Dispatch did a great job coordinating all agencies to assist South Portland in these investigations. To add to this, Portland had just recently completed the consolidation with South Portland. The folks in dispatch were not used to working with each other that closely. One of the dispatchers had just completed her training as a call taker with no previious experiences. The Supervisor was just promoted two months earlier and this was the biggest event since the consolidation. The telecommunicators on duty that night pulled together as a team passing information on to responding units as it came in. While all of this was going on, the citizens of Portland, South Portland and Cape Elizabeth did not see a reduction in service.