The Countdown is on: PSAPs’ Finest Nominations Close June 1

We come across headlines like these every day. 911 dispatcher saves 14-year-old's life. Quick thinking 911 dispatcher saves a woman's life. Dispatcher saves cop’s life. 911 dispatcher rescues woman locked in trunk. Dispatcher saves 3-month-old’s life. Dispatcher helps deliver baby via phone. Dispatcher helps save suicidal man. But for every story of one life saved, there are dozens more that are never told.

For all of their life-saving work, 911 telecommunicators often go unrecognized. This is one of the reasons that NICE started the PSAPs’ Finest awards over a decade ago – to shine light on the vital contributions of 911 telecommunicators.

But it’s not just the telecommumicators who handle the calls who make a difference – it’s also the work that goes on behind the scenes. So over the years NICE’s PSAPs’ Finest awards have grown to recognize other individuals, including 911 Directors, Line Supervisors, Technicians, and Trainers. In 2016, we added an award for PSAP of the Year and (new for 2017) an award for Innovator of the Year (to recognize a trailblazer in emergency communications).

Hattie Schweitzer, Dispatch Supervisor for SNOPAC 911 (WA) received the Line Supervisor of the Year award in 2015, and returned to serve as a PSAPs’ Finest judge in 2016.

“I think recognition programs like the PSAPs’ Finest Awards are important because they provide an avenue for our technology community and our 911 employee community to come together and recognize each other’s importance,” said Schweitzer. “This coming together creates a sense of ‘team’ which produces better overall results from both communities of people. Our professionals on both sides can be renewed with a greater sense of the mission – keeping our public safe.”

Another award-recipient was 2016 PSAP of the Year Winnipeg Police Service. “Having global recognition of the accomplishments achieved in 2016 for our PSAP was an incredible acknowledgment, one that we were pleased to share with each and every member who contributed to our successes,” said Leigh Robb, ​Communications Training Coordinator for Winnipeg Police Service. “Continuous improvement is key in any industry and we will continue to strive for excellence in performing our core function as a PSAP.”


​Nicole Lea, an E911 Telecommunicator for the Oneida County Sheriff Office in Rhinelander (WI) who was recognized for her life-saving work as the 2016 PSAPs’ Finest Telecommunicator of the Year, ​credited her team-mates for her success. “Had it not been for my partner who was dispatching deputies, ambulances and first responders, taking all the other calls coming in while I was on the 911 call it would not have allowed me to give proper CPR instructions. It all comes down to teamwork,” she said. “When you work with great people, you get great ​outcomes.”​

Nominations for this year’s the PSAPs’ Finest awards will close ​on June 1. Submit your nomination online  here.


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