Four EMS Dispatchers Honored in Washington State

Awards ceremonies April 8 and April 13 coincided with National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week (April 10-16).

Four emergency medical dispatchers in the Seattle area are being honored this month for outstanding response during critical incidents. Alison Barlow of Tacoma and Melissa Johnson of Puyallup from Valley Communications Center in Kent, and Roky Louie of Tukwila and Josh Baker of Everett from Norcom Communications Center in Bellevue, are the honorees at April 8 and April 13 events that coincide with National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week (April 10-16).

Public Health - Seattle & King County's Emergency Medical Services Division presents awards annually at this time to dispatchers from the county's EMS/Medic One system.

Barlow and Louie received their awards for sustained exemplary performance during the past year. Johnson and Baker received theirs for handling incidents well -- Johnson for quick action when a baby was not breathing and Baker for his ability to quickly begin CPR instructions and reassure a caller.

"Our emergency medical dispatchers are the lifeline for thousands of callers who each year dial 911 for help," said King County Executive Dow Constantine. "The four being honored this year deserve our deepest thanks and appreciation for their skill and commitment."

"Emergency medical dispatchers play a critically important role as they evaluate patient signs and symptoms and provide life-saving instructions to bystanders over the telephone. They are an essential link in our emergency medical care system and a big reason why our survival rates from cardiac arrest are among the world's best," said Dr. Mickey Eisenberg, medical director for King County Emergency Medical Services Division of Public Health.

Valley Communications provides police, fire and medical dispatching in south King County and handled about 61,000 emergency medical calls in 2010. North East King County Regional Public Safety Communications Agency (NORCOM) provides dispatching in the east and north parts of the county and handled about 45,000 emergency medical calls last year.

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