In what has become
an annual tradition, the Porter County Commissioners paid tribute Tuesday to
the men and women who are at the heart of public safety in Porter County.
Whenever a squad
car, fire truck or ambulance arrives on the scene of an emergency, it’s a
County dispatcher that got them there, said County E-911 Communications
Director John Jokantas.
telecommunicators are the hidden heroes and in a lot of cases the ‘first’
first responder,” he said.
Jokantas told the
Commissioners that it is Nataional Public Safety Telecommunicator Week,
which started on Sunday, April 13 and runs until Saturday, April 19, to
publically recognize the service 911 staff provides.
The County’s 911
dispatch center employs over 50 full-time and part-time telecommunicators
who work all hours of the day, 365 days a year, Jokantas said.
“They want to do
nothing more than help the visitors, citizens and members of Porter County’s
public safety agencies in their time of need,” Jokantas said.
This year, 911
Assistant Director of Administration C.J. Wittmer celebrated his 10th year
with the department.
Serving 20 years at
the dispatch center, Day Shift Supervisor Bonnie Reeder was given a
certificate of service.
A special plaque
was handed to the center’s longest tenured employee Paula Alyea, who is in
her 35th year as a dispatcher.
“She is very
dedicated to her job and is someone for the younger group to look up to,”
said Jokantas, who personally thanked Alyea for helping him find his
bearings when he came on the job a few years ago. “Paula, in reality, like a
few of the other people we have honored the past couple of years, got me to
where I am today and I have never forgotten that.”
President John Evans, R-North, gave his personal thanks to Alyea looking
back on the years she helped him when he was the County Coroner.
Also honored but
not in attendance were Rachel Brantly who celebrated her 10th year at the
center and Andrew Barber who celebrated his 5th.