2023 April 11
This year, April 9 to 15 is 9-1-1 Telecommunicators Week, celebrating the City of Toronto’s dedicated emergency telecommunication professionals who are the first of the first responders and the calm voices answering every 9-1-1 call.
City telecommunicators include Police, Fire and Paramedic dispatchers, call takers and administrative, operations support and management staff who have dedicated their careers to caring for others.
Today, Toronto’s three emergency services – Toronto Police Service, Toronto Fire Services, and Toronto Paramedic Services – held a joint ceremony to recognize their outstanding emergency telecommunicators through the annual Telecommunicator of the Year Awards.
Award winners are nominated by their peers and receive commemorative trophies to recognize their achievements. This year’s award winners are:
Toronto Police Service: Communications Operator of the Year
Awarded for actions that led to the safe apprehension of two suspects and the recovery of two firearms. Communications Operator Megan Colicchio collaborated with her peers and adjacent police services throughout the challenging and dynamic event, while demonstrating a high level of professionalism and communication that ensured the safety of the public and officers at all times.
Toronto Fire Services: Telecommunicator of the Year Award
District Chief Adrian Whiteman and Dispatchers/Call Takers John Hanley, Adam Donadel, Eric Pade, Gunther Steiger, Jenna Sheppard, Sam Totty, Dale Henry, Mehrdad Pourkamali and Maggie Szpakowska.
Awarded to TFS Platoon 1 telecommunicators for their actions on the afternoon on May 21, 2022, when an intense, rapidly moving thunderstorm – known as a derecho – passed through Toronto. During this extraordinary weather event, Platoon 1 diligently processed more than 500 emergency incidents between 1 and 4 p.m.
Toronto Paramedic Services: Senior Emergency Medical Dispatcher (EMD) Leadership Award
Awarded to a Senior EMD who consistently demonstrates advanced leadership skills and creates and fosters a positive work environment. EMD Norman Rivera is a deserving recipient of this award. He has worked for Toronto Paramedic Services since 2006 and has been recognized for his ongoing, outstanding service to the community throughout his career and as a previous recipient of the Paramedic Services Merit and Communicator of the Year Awards.
Communications Training Officer (CTO) Mentor Award
Awarded to a CTO who consistently creates a positive environment for the mentorship of all staff, advocates for patients, peers and students and demonstrates initiative and pride in teaching. Throughout his career, CTO Gary Bunn supports his peers, while demonstrating sound decision making and improving the training process for CTOs and students alike.