Public safety response was most professional

Posted: Thursday, December 18, 2008

Over the last few weeks, there have been many wonderful people in our community honored for their acts of bravery and heroism displayed at Central Peninsula Hospital on Nov. 26.

I would like to recognize the often overlooked, unsung heroes and backbone of public safety -- the 911 professionals. As many are unaware, 911 professionals are expected to be able to do multiple things at once and do them well. When questioning a frantic caller, they must enter data into a computer, convey information to their partner, prioritize other incoming calls and coordinate law enforcement and emergency service resources. This must be performed calmly and without error every time and on every call.

On Nov. 26 at 10 a.m., the first 911 call was received from CPH. Within 25 minutes, the Soldotna Public Safety Communications Center had received nearly 70 911 calls.

As well as manage this unprecedented call volume, SPSCC personnel were responsible for coordinating law enforcement units at the scene, answering a multitude of calls on the business lines from the press, concerned family members, as well as managing other calls for service unrelated to this incident.

SPSCC was responsible for contacting the school district, city of Soldotna to request road blocks, and Office of Emergency Management Director Scott Walden, who was responsible for deploying the reverse 911 alert messages to Soldotna residents.

The 911 heroes working at the Soldotna Public Safety Communications Center on Nov. 26 were Carly Reimer, Sherry Ridling, Adam Tresley and Jerri Williams. I can attest to their phenomenal performance, done with the utmost professionalism.

In addition to the SPSCC staff, I'd like to commend the actions of Scott Walden and his dedicated staff, Kay Steele and Bonnie Hanson, who were quickly bombarded with urgent requests. The public safety community relies heavily on OEM, and their contribution to the Kenai Peninsula Borough residents is significant.

It is an honor to work with the caliber of professionals I see each day. Our community should be proud.

Tammy Goggia

SPSCC 911 manager

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