October 30, 2014

E-911 Dispatchers commended for performance

Tim Barnum
Deb Stephen, left, is recognized for her duties by E-911 Director Steve Wuelfing, right.
Tim Barnum
Stephanie Jammer (right) poses with a certificate recognizing her completion of dispatcher training. The award was presented to her by Yvonne King, pictured on the left.
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Tim Barnum
Staff writer
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ARENAC COUNTY — When a criminal is arrested or a missing child found, when a fire is extinguished and a home saved, or when an ambulance rushes to a scene to provide medical assistance, the responders are often heralded as lifesavers. But all of these deeds would be impossible without the assistance of dispatchers who receive emergency calls and contact responders with clear directions and objectives.

On Jan. 14, Steve Wuelfing, Arenac County’s E-911 Director, honored some of his employees for their performance in Arenac County’s Central Dispatch in front of coworkers, family and other emergency personnel.

First, Wuelfing recognized Stephanie Jammer, who recently completed dispatcher training, which she began in September of last year.

“Stephanie quickly gained the respect of her fellow dispatchers,” Wuelfing said.

Fellow dispatcher and Communications Training Officer (CTO) Yvonne King, who trained Jammer, shed some light on a scavenger hunt Jammer was sent on as a training method as a way to familiarize her as to what responders go through and to help her gain knowledge as to responders’ headquarters.

She described Jammer’s visit to a fire department, where she had to don firefighting gear.

“They (firefighters) made her get dressed in the truck while they were traveling,” King said, adding Jammer also toured the Arenac County Jail. “She was a convict for a while.”

According to King, Jammer’s scavenger hunt also required her to bring back poker chips from the Saganing Eagle’s Landing Casino, which she visited while accompanying Saginaw-Chippewa Tribal Police Sergeant Gary Foco, and a dog bone from Arenac County Animal Control; and a ride along during traffic duty with a Standish City Police Officer.

King herself was also recognized for work as a CTO.

“The job of a trainer is very difficult. … You have all your normal responsibilities and on top of that you are training another employee,” Wuelfing said. “Without a doubt, Yvonne has proven herself to be a useful CTO.”

Deb Stephen was also presented with an award for her longevity as a Terminal Agency Coordinator (TAC), a position she has maintained since 1991.

“The position of TAC requires a dedicated individual,” Wuelfing said. “Because I was once a TAC myself, I can appreciate that job.”

After Stephen was honored, a final award was given to Patricia Tremble, who Wuelfing said alleviated him of the burden of updating the dispatch records upon his arrival, a duty he said would usually fall on him, and one that he wasn’t looking forward to since he says the records were in desperate need of revision.

The records kept locally that he said needed to be updated included fire department phone numbers, fire chief phone numbers, pager codes, Amber Alert information, state seatbelt laws, school maps and telephone security contact numbers, amongst others. All the records were comprised in a binder Wuelfing held up as a visual aid of just how many records needed to be amended.

“By the time you get to the end, you have to flip back to the front and start over again because the information in front is outdated,” he said. “She did a very good job, a very complete job.”

He also added that Tremble has continued to revise the records as needed.

She received the award from Marvin Schwab, the longest standing member on the E-911 Board.

Awards were either certificates or framed certificates.

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