Awards

The HRECC takes pride in the work produced by this staff of professionals. Employees are awarded for jobs well done and for acts that require extraordinary measures. Every member of the HRECC works daily to keep our community and public safety responders safe. Be sure to thank a Communicator!

2016 Communicator of the Year

Kenzie Herring
Kenzie Herring Master Communicator

The Harrisonburg-Rockingham Emergency Communications Center (HRECC) held its annual awards ceremony yesterday, which coincided with National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week.

The HRECC recognized a number of employees, including three Communicators who were honored for their work in administering life-saving, pre-arrival instructions through the use of emergency medical dispatching (EMD) during 2016.

As part of that ceremony, the HRECC selected Master Communicator Kenzie Herring as the 2016 Communicator of the Year. Herring has been employed by the ECC since 2013 and she “embodies the pillars of ECC operation with her professionalism, accountability, consistency, excellence, teamwork and pride,” said Dee Dee Sencindiver, operations manager.

“Kenzie makes her work in the ECC a priority,” added Jim Junkins, director of emergency communications.

Herring was very familiar with public safety when she began her career in emergency communications. She grew up with a family heavily involved in law enforcement and has a true understanding of the importance her role plays for the public safety responders and the community.

Members of the ECC administration were joined by Kenzie’s father, retired Rockingham County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Craig Herring, her grandfather, retired Rockingham County Sheriff’s Office Major Nelson Herring and her grandmother, retired Rockingham County Records Supervisor Marie Herring in the presentation of this award.

Congratulations Kenzie

Outstanding Performance by a Team – Ice Apocalypse

On December 17, 2016 the City and County was hit with an unexpected ice event that covered our communities in an ice coating that caused the workload of the ECC, and all of public safety, to explode.

As the community woke to a thin coating of ice covering most all roadways, sidewalks and more, employees of the ECC began to deal with this unforeseen situation.

Between 4 AM and 9 AM on this date, the ECC handled 132 calls for service, 606 telephone transactions and 12,997 radio push to talks. This is 4 times the normal ECC work activity.

Roads were in severe condition and in some cases, impassable. There were crashes throughout the Interstate, the City and an 8 car pile-up on Port Republic Road.

Throughout that event both the night shift and day shift of the ECC worked to ensure that all calls were handled appropriately while knowing they too must make their way to work, or from work, safely as well. Many comments of thanks and commendation were received after the event including one comment that stuck out to us from a field provider who said, “Great job in there. They amaze me every time something like this happens.” Today we want to recognize those employees involved in this event. These include both night shift and day shift personnel working during this timeframe, along with several trainees who quickly learned how hectic life can get as an ECC Communicator. The ECC recognizes those employees who worked hard to ensure this event was handled to the best of their abilities:

Chad Siever

Kenzie Herring

Robin Lambert

Laurie White

Fawn Ammons

April Lantz

Brittany Wampler

Tonya Keller

Spencer Dean

Andre Miller

Bridgette Spitler

Paul Huddle

Julia Nixon

Carenda Strawderman

Heather Conley

Emily Gordon

Mollie Mace

Leslie Barb

Outstanding Performance by a Team-Radio Failure

On the evening of October 27th, 2016 at around 5:30 PM, the ECC received a radio alarm from the CSD console. Near simultaneous with the alarm was a partial failure of all law enforcement and Fire and Rescue radios.   Radio maintenance personnel were already working on the radio system so other command staff notifications were made and ECC Communicators on-duty were quick to react with back up radios and completing radio checks with field personnel to ensure that communication was available with all field personnel.

During this event both Senior Communicator Paul Huddle and Senior Communicator Andrew Kniss were instrumental in assisting the on-duty supervisor, Brittany Wampler, in ensuring that all consoles had radios that were forced to both the mountain and valley systems.

While this radio problem was a significant event, the Communicators working displayed a teamwork approach towards all the adversity and were able to continue operating despite the problems.

Thanks to the dayshift and night shift personnel for their work during this event.

Days

MC Brittany Wampler

SC Andre Miller

SC Bridgette Spitler

SC Paul Huddle

SC Carenda Strawderman

BC Heather Conley

BC Mollie Mace

SC Andrew Kniss

Nights

Supervisor Chad Siever

SC Robin Lambert

SC Laurie White

SC Liz Bechtel

SC April Lantz

BC Hunter Edge

BC Leslie Barb

Outstanding Performance during a High Priority Incident

The ECC operates under a teamwork approach to every task, but sometimes, due to call load and workload, a Communicator must act on their own, take charge and ensure that all tasks are complete to make a situation successful. Today we recognize and outstanding personal performance by a Communicator.

On December 24th, 2016 the ECC received a call for a structure fire on Spotswood Trail in Elkton. The building had several apartments all of which were involved with the fire. This event had multiple victims, included not only the structure but also vehicles on fire and the ECC was working at minimum staffing of 6 Communicators.

Senior Communicator Christina Adams was serving as a F/R trainer when this call was received and due to the extreme nature of the event, she immediately took over the call and became the F/R radio operator. From the onset of the event Communicator Adams was on top of her game ensuring that outside agencies were patched to other responders and offering talkgroup ideas to the scene commander so he didn’t have that burden in addition to his own duties.

This incident quickly progressed to a 4th alarm and Adams did the vast majority of her own toning and filling quarters for the escalation. While this isn’t the ideal method, minimum staffing had other personnel handling additional tasks and calls which also needed attention.

When all was said and done it was realized that Christina had basically utilized nearly every resource she had available and had been able to effectively tone, track, monitor and maintain a status of everyone on this scene.

This truly is not the way most of us spend Christmas Eve but this is a great example of the dedication of public safety personnel. Thanks to Christina for her efforts on this date.

Congratulations to Our Staff

Shift Supervisor Chad Siever

Basic Communicator Mollie Mace

Senior Communicator Paul Huddle

Part-time Senior Communicator Spencer Dean

Master Communicator Brittany Wampler

Senior Communicator April Lantz

Senior Communicator Fawn Ammons

Basic Communicator Leslie Barb

Senior Communicator Liz Bechtel

Senior Communicator Robin Lambert

Senior Communicator Laurie White

Promotions

Alyssa Hottinger
Alyssa Hottinger Senior Communicator

Alyssa began her career in emergency communications in 2011 and since that time has excelled in all aspects of her job. She currently serves as a certified training officer providing high level instruction to newly hired ECC employees and she is a member of the Telecommunications Emergency Response Team (TERT) and the Virginia Communications Cache.

Alyssa was named the 2015 HRECC Communicator of the Year for her unselfish approach to her job and the high level of service she provides to the citizens and public safety providers in our area.

As Master Communicator, Hottinger will serve as the assistant shift supervisor of her assigned shift and will provide daily oversight to her group of employees.

“We are very proud to have Alyssa as a part of our management team,” said Jim Junkins, HRECC Director.

“Alyssa will bring a great attitude and new ideas to this position,” added Dee Dee Sencindiver Operations Manager.

Hottinger’s promotion is effective October 30, 2016.

Jake Guinn
Jake GuinnECC Technician
Ryan Pollard
Ryan PollardECC Supervisor
Kenzie Herring
Kenzie Herring Master Communicator

Commendations

Kenzie Herring
Kenzie Herring

The employees of the Harrisonburg Rockingham Emergency Communications Center appreciate the effort and consideration the concerned citizens who take time to commend our employee performance.

 

Please join the staff of the HRECC in congratulating Part-time Senior Communicator Xan Stevens for her actions of February 24, 2016. Xan’s quick thinking and compassionate nature aided her in offering pre-arrival medical instructions for a 2 year old child that had experienced a seizure and stopped breathing. Xan talked the caller through CPR instructions, and prior to responders arriving on the scene, the child could be heard making noises in the background and was again breathing on its own.
“Having an employee like Xan, who is able to remain calm in these situations is priceless for the ECC and the community,” said Dee Dee Sencindiver, Operations Manager.
Stevens is one of the most veteran employees of the HRECC having started her career in emergency communications in December of 1994. “Her value to this workplace is unmatched” added Sencindiver. Congratulations to Xan on having a direct impact in saving a life!

Xan Stevens
Xan Stevens

Public Safety Communications Accreditation

 

The HRECC strives to provide the highest level of service to all citizens and public safety providers. In order to measure its services against the best of the best, the HRECC has chosen to undergo voluntary accreditation status through the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies and the Virginia Office of Emergency Medical Services. The continued compliance with the best practices standards set forth by these accreditation bodies ensures the HRECC continues to strive for excellence in all realms of emergency communications.

In November of 2011, the HRECC was awarded National accreditation status through the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, Inc. (CALEA). In November of 2014, the HRECC received re-accreditation status and continues to operate using the national standards of CALEA as a roadmap by which to measure its success.

CALEA is the largest internationally recognized accreditation body for law enforcement and communications centers. This award is a highly prized recognition and the HRECC is one of only eight CALEA accredited emergency communications centers in the Virginia and one of only 82 in the United States.

Accreditation is awarded for three years, during which an agency must submit annual reports attesting continued compliance with standards under which it was initially accredited.
Accreditation makes the HRECC a more professional agency and challenges us to excel in our core values of integrity, innovation, stewardship and learning. It provides additional credibility to an excellent emergency communications system and measures our work against the best of the best.

The Emergency Medical Dispatcher is a trained public safety Communicator with additional training and specific emergency medical knowledge essential for assessment of medical emergencies and limited remote treatment and apportionment of medical priorities. The EMD functions under the medical authority of an off-line medical director to receive and manage calls for emergency medical assistance through the systematic interrogation of callers, using procedures established by the off-line medical director who remains responsible for medical quality assurance of the EMD program.

The HRECC is trained and certified to offer caller with medical pre-arrival instructions that can often aid in saving a life.