2015 Awards

Beth Clemson

2015 Supervisor of the Year Communications Team Supervisor (CTS) Beth Clemson

CTS Beth Clemson has done an outstanding job handling her shift. She continually demonstrates excellent leadership skills, especially in team building and interpersonal communications. Her emphasis on building a positive atmosphere in our 911 center is critical, as it directly impacts the physical and mental health of each CO on her platoon. Beth shows interest in individual COs on her platoon, tailoring her feedback to encourage career development and commend exemplary actions. Her empowerment of COs enables them to act autonomously during day to day operations.

Beth is known for her honest nature. But, as a true team player, Beth shares credit for her successes. Beth's self-awareness and ability to delegate tasks allow her to maximize her talents. She is a reliable and committed employee. After her promotion, she has remained dedicated to our training program. She worked on 3 editions of our training manual and volunteered to teach several courses in our Basic Dispatch Academy.

CO Barry Light

2015 Communications Officer (CO) of the Year: Barry Light

CO Barry Light has been a team player in several calls that have come into the center; Barry is always ready on the phone and eager to work. One example of Barry's skills coming into play is when he received a 911 hang up call. When he called back, a frantic female answered the phone. She was screaming and yelling that 6 people were outside with guns and there were children in the house with her. She stated that shots were fired. Barry remained calm and was able to obtain pertinent information from the caller. 

This was a tough call but Barry stayed very professional during the whole call and helped the citizen. It's stressful situations like this one that allows communication officers to show their true skills. Barry is leaving his headset behind but will remain a great asset to our center in his new position.

2015 Rookie of the Year Communications Officer Lisa Charles

PCO Lisa Charles shows good qualities of a dispatcher. She pays attention to detail and strives to do her best.

Lisa took a call from a lost hiker; she stayed on the phone with this young caller for over an hour. She provided reasPCO Lisa Charlessurance to the caller to keep the caller from descending into complete hysterics. Lisa sang songs with her and provided sincere care for her caller. She obtained critical location information and rebid the call multiple times to help fire and rescue search teams deployed to McAfee's Knob and Dragon's Tooth. Lisa also documented the call narrative well, ensuring that the dispatcher had all the necessary information to relay to first responders at the command post and to the search teams.

Lisa did an outstanding job with this call! She demonstrated great call taking skills, especially since she was hired less than a year ago. Lisa controlled the call in a manner that many of us should aspire to.

2015 Platoon of the Year: B Platoon

B platoon is recognized for working together as a team. They are great at pulling together and helping each other. The following are some highlights from 2015:

  • In January, they were recognized for handling a call from Roanoke City to help located their armed robbery suspect, as well as several breaking and entering calls.
  • In February, they handled high call volume for our Western Virginia Water Authority line during snow. During the storm, they maintained positive attitudes.
  • In March, they sent rescue to a scene which quickly became a police response when a bystander was assaulted and the suspect took off on foot. With B platoon's quick response, the suspect was apprehended.
  • In April, they handled a brush fire and SWAT activation during manual dispatch.
  • In May, they handled several hot calls, including assistance for a state police vehicle pursuit and officer-involved shooting. They also had a 4-car accident with one vehicle overturned with entrapments. Roanoke City relayed information regarding a possible abduction; B platoon quickly aired the information and Vinton officers stopped the suspect vehicle.
  • In July, they handled a working structure fire.
  • In August, when a caller stated that her father in law had committed suicide, B platoon continued to display professionalism at its best. Also, the Bridgewater shooting occurred and the COs had to make sure all supervisors, the PIO and the schools were informed and updated.
  • In September, they received several calls on a disturbance resulting in multiple gunshot wound victims. This call included detectives, Floyd County and state police as well as Roanoke County police, fire, and rescue responses.
  • In October, they handled a malicious wounding, which evolved into a vehicle pursuit. At that time, a report of a fight between an off duty city officer and a suspect took place. They also handled a large number of calls for 10 brush fires lining up the interstate that span for 5 miles.
  • In November, they received a call about a suspicious person near one of our high schools, which required information updates relayed to school resource officers, state police, Salem dispatch, Roanoke City dispatch, and school administration.
  • In December, they overcame equipment failures, which occurred while Roanoke City dispatch was conducting a simulated evacuation in the Emergency Communications Center (ECC).