Honors for the Helpful Voices Answering Onondaga County's 911 Calls

Apr 8, 2015

911 Operator Danielle Pflugh ready for incoming calls at the Onondaga County 911 Center
Credit John Smith / WAER News

  The Onondaga County 911 Center received nearly 600,000 calls in 2014 with an average pick-up time of 5 .9 seconds. Wednesday, members of the team were rewarded for their professional skills to help callers.  The Public Safety Dispatcher Employee of the Year Award was presented to Kelly Brigman.  Commissioner Bill Bleyle recalled a cell phone call for help she answered from an elderly man who struck his head on a tree.

"The caller was very confused and did not know where he was. PSD Brigman remained on the line for over 30 minutes until the caller was located. All the time reassuring the victim that help was on the way and he would be OK."

The call was the first of its kind for Brigman over the course of her 26 years on the job.

"He started out seeming like he was lucid, the more I spoke with him he became very disoriented and really didn't know where he was. It was a good feeling when those providers got to him."

Public Safety Dispatcher Carol Boulais was awarded the Police Dispatcher of the Year. She was nominated by her peers because of her ability to handle multiple high profile calls with ease.  Even with her experience, she says her job can be stressful at times.

Kelly Brigman, Employee of the Year recipient (L) and Carol Boulais, Police Dispatcher of the Year recipient (R) were honorees at Wednesday's Onondaga County Department of Emergency Communications award ceremony
Credit John Smith / WAER News

"It's kinda like a rollercoaster up and down. You don't know what is going to come next. It could be stressful one minute and then the next minute it could be quiet and nothing going on."

The County’s 911 Center also received 118 letters of appreciation in  2014 from callers who recognized individual employees.