GOSHEN – The Orange County Department of Emergency Services, Division of Emergency Communications held its 8th Annual Public Safety Dispatchers’ Recognition Awards Ceremony on Thursday, April 25, at the County’s Emergency Services Center in Goshen to honor and recognize the dedicated and outstanding service of the County’s 911 public safety dispatchers.
"I’d like to thank all of our dispatchers, and their families, for their service to the people of Orange County," said County Executive Edward A. Diana. "We appreciate your sacrifice and dedication to public safety. Congratulations to all of the 2013 award recipients."
The program began with the Hudson Valley Regional Police Pipes and Drums, followed by a presentation of colors by the Orange County Sheriff’s Color Guard, and Mr. Gregory Carlstrom led the audience in the Pledge of Allegiance. Orange County Commissioner of Emergency Services Walter C. Koury presented formal remarks while Deputy Commissioner Division of Emergency Communications Allen J. Wierzbicki served as the evening’s master of ceremonies who welcomed and introduced honored guests Orange County Undersheriff Kenneth T. Jones and Chairman of the Orange County Legislature Michael R. Pillmeier.
"Our E-911 dispatchers are the first ones to speak with the public when they call looking for help with an emergency," said Commissioner Koury. "Each dispatcher is specially trained, provided with the latest in dispatching equipment and software, to properly handle the many different types of emergencies that are reported. The recognition being given to many of our dispatchers and supervisors tonight highlights the superb job they performed during 2012."
Ms. Kelly Stoehr was traveling on Interstate 84 on November 13, 2012 at a high rate of speed unable to stop or slow her vehicle down when she dialed 911 and spoke with dispatcher James Ward who recognized that her vehicle’s accelerator was stuck. In a calm, stern but professional manner, Dispatcher Ward provided the caller with instructions on how to safely stop her vehicle. Because of his instructions, Ms. Stoehr was able to slow her vehicle to the emergency lane where she was able to come to a full stop out of harm’s way. Ms. Stoehr was able to thank Dispatcher Ward in person last night as she presented him with the Meritorious Service Award at the Ceremony.
"The assistance that James gave me that night about putting my car in neutral saved me and my children," said Ms. Stoehr. "I have been passing that advice onto family and friends in case they ever have the same situation so that they will know what to do."