Durant Police, Firemen and Dispatchers gathered Friday afternoon to celebrate National Public Safety Telecommunicator Week.
This week is dedicated to honoring the telecommunicators or dispatchers who serve as the line on communication between the public and the first responders.
Friday’s festivities began with a cookout and concluded with a ceremony honoring local dispatchers and thanking them for all they do.
The Durant Communication Center consists of 11 dispatchers who answer calls for nine law enforcement agencies, four ambulance services and 19 fire departments in the area.
Until this year, the Communication Center has celebrated PS Telecommunicator Week only within the department.
This is the first year this sort of ceremony has been held involving the departments which the center aids.
Durant Police Captain Mike Woodruff said that he wanted to do more than just have a cookout for the dispatchers to celebrate them.
Woodruff and Durant Fire Chief Roger Joines put together the ceremony to thank the dispatchers for all they do. Both men took the opportunity to thank the dispatchers for their aid.
“My guys’ lives depend on you,” said Joines.
Guest Speaker Sarah Sherrer took a moment to read the definition of a dispatcher as outlined in the job description.
This definition outlined many duties a dispatcher had to carry out.
“This should say simultaneously,” said Sherrer.
Sherrer said that while she does not know any of the local dispatchers personally she knows a lot about them by the profession they have chosen.
She said that she knows each of them is dependable, a problem solver, good in high stress situations, a multi-tasker and humble.
“You are the first first responders, because how could anyone respond without you?” said Sherrer.
Several other including Mayor Jerry Tomlinson, City Council Member Stewart Hoffman, and Public Safety Manager James Dalton spoke at the event.
Lacy Dillingham was named dispatcher of the year. This is the first time this award has been given in Durant.
Woodruff spoke of Dillingham’s dedication, training and achievements as well as the volunteer work she does for the center.
To honor their dedication, each of the 11 dispatchers received flowers to plant and a flashlight. Allen Golden, Durant’s only male dispatcher, received a tool kit in place of flowers.
Durant Dispatchers honored Friday include Alice Hall, Amy Jarvis, Amy Brown, Lacy Dillingham, Sheila Saulas, Amber Cendejas, Allen Golden, Julie Thompson, Tamara Alexander and Beverly Lawson.