WORCESTER, Mass. (WWLP) - For getting first responders where they need to be during catastrophic events like a tornado, freak autumn snowstorm, and a gas explosion, several western Massachusetts 911 dispatchers and police officers were honored during a ceremony in Worcester Tuesday morning.
Municipal police dispatchers from Monson, Springfield, East Longmeadow, as well as state police dispatchers from Northampton and Shelburne Falls all received awards during the annual ceremony at Mechanics Hall. The event was put on by the Massachusetts 911 Department, a state agency.
Here is a list of the western Massachusetts honorees:
- Monson- Dispatcher William Chaiffre, for remaining at his post and answering 911 calls while the June 1, 2011 hit the station; tearing off its roof.
- Springfield (Police & Fire)- Joyce Buchanan, Dove Anna Frierson, Cassandra Godfrey Henderson, Charles Kaercher, Janet Lavallee, Justine Marotte, Amanda Provost, Jeris Mitchell, Penny McCarthy, Robin McCarthy, Anita Paquin, Chris Roberts, and Zygmont Szczawinski, for taking calls and dispatching crews during the June 1, 2011 tornado; despite the fact that their normal call center was under repairs. They were also honored for handling a massive volume of post-gas explosion calls on November 23, 2012.
- East Longmeadow- Officer Scott Skala, for communicating with 14 year-old girl trapped inside her home with an intruder. Skala was able to pass-on information from the victim to officers, who were able to arrest the suspect, who was still inside.
- Northampton State Police- Stephen Berube, Donna Burgess, Patricia Carr, Lisa Carroll, Mary Dzialo, Kerry Flaherty, Richard Greenaway, Kenneth Handfield, Christopher Hutchins, Marjorie Dunn, Kellie LaFleur, Wendy Pariseau, Michael Perkins, Erin Reardon, Ervin Santiago, Brian Swiers, Jeffrey Tatro, Donald Tyron, and Kelli Wainscott have been honored for taking the highest call volume in their history in the aftermath of the October 2011 snowstorm.
- Shelburne Falls State Police- Jason Connell and Cameron Dunbar, for providing life-saving CPR instructions over the phone, which helped resuscitate a Northfield woman who had accidentally overdosed on a prescription drug.