Congratulations to Our Dispatcher of the Year!
As part of the National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week (April 10-16, 2016) the San Francisco Board of Supervisors honored 9-1-1 dispatcher Natalie Elicetche with the Dispatcher of the Year Award. While serving as a call taker in San Francisco’s 9-1-1 Operations Center, Natalie fielded a call from a San Francisco resident who reported the possibility of multiple murders in Tennessee. Natalie contacted local authorities in Tennessee which led to the arrest of the murder suspect.
“Natalie is being recognized for finding justice for the victims of this horrendous crime. She exhibited compassion, strength, and initiative during an incredibly complex situation,” said Anne Kronenberg, Executive Director of the San Francisco Department of Emergency Management. “We see Natalie’s example every day when our talented team of dispatchers take calls or coordinate emergency resources. This is why we celebrate National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week.”
“The easy thing do would be to provide the caller with number for law enforcement in Tennessee and move on,” said Dispatcher Elicetche. “I couldn’t do that. The caller was unsure and probably afraid she had made a mistake. But she showed real courage by calling 9-1-1 and I had to follow through for her.”
The Dispatcher of the Year is elected by their fellow dispatchers for extraordinary performance while answering 9-1-1 calls or dispatching emergency services. Natalie shares this honor with her fellow dispatchers who provide vital ongoing support, which is indispensable to the entire San Francisco dispatchers team during crucial calls.
Natalie has served more than 13 years as a Public Safety Dispatcher in San Francisco. As a native San Franciscan, she was raised and currently resides in the Richmond District. Natalie attended St. Veronica’s Catholic School in South San Francisco and Mercy High School in San Francisco before graduating from Long Beach State with a degree in management.
San Francisco receives more than 1.2 million emergency and non-emergency calls annually. 9-1-1 professionals dispatch police, fire, and medical assistance to the scene of accidents, crimes, fires, and other emergency and non-emergency situations. In addition to taking calls from the public, dispatchers act as the communications hub for emergency services and must quickly assess situations to determine the appropriate resources to dispatch, making them the San Francisco’s first, first responders.