911 honors telecommunicators of the year


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The 911 telecommunicator honorees — dispatcher of the year and supervisor of the year — were recognized during a ceremony Thursday at the York County Emergency Services Center, where social distancing was practiced because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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While we were unable to have a group celebration with family and friends, the county commissioners and 911 administrators wanted to acknowledge our individuals during National Telecommunicators Appreciation Week, which is April 12-18 this year.

Louise Merritt, Dispatcher 79, was named Dispatcher of the Year. Chris Lorenzen, Dispatcher 28, was named Supervisor of the Year.

Ms. Merritt has always been dedicated in her role at York County 911. She has persevered through challenges because she loves her job so much, according to 911 Director Matt Hobson, who presented the awards.

Ms. Merritt handled a multi-home fire in the city, a brush fire, and two vehicle fires all at once, Mr. Hobson said. She had some assistance from her fellow dispatchers, of course, but still did an amazing job. 

"This is a team award and it really goes to them, because they make the place operate as a team," Ms. Merritt said. 

When there is a call off, Mr. Lorenzen will offer to stay and fill in, Mr. Hobson said. He is eager to help people and frequently makes learning opportunities for his coworkers.

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Mr. Lorenzen will frequently field calls in the training room, using such instances as teaching moments.

As a supervisor, Mr. Hobson attested that Mr. Lorenzen has not forgotten what it is like to be a dispatcher. 

"By simply coming down to ask us about our day and making conversation, he shows that he cares about the dispatchers," Mr. Hobson said, noting that some of his remarks were compiled by Mr. Lorenzen's coworkers.

York County wishes to recognize its entire 911 staff — supervisors, administrators and dispatchers — who come to work not only this week of appreciation but every day. We thank them for coming to work today and all days.

Through a pandemic, severe weather, tragedies and every moment of every day, they answer the call and we are extremely grateful for their dedication and service to our community.


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