DEM Quarterly Review
This DEM Quarterly Review captures DEM’s spring seasonal highlights–which was a very busy several months that included special recognitions, commemorations, and graduations.
National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week: Honoring Our First, First Responders
National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week is an opportunity to highlight their outstanding work. Although every dispatcher is honored during this week, we take this opportunity to recognize stellar performance through the following awards:
Dispatcher of the Year
Natalie Elicetche was recognized as Dispatcher of the Year for fielding 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. This was an incredibly complex situation, yet through it all Natalie exhibited compassion, strength and initiative which resulted in justice for the victims of this horrendous crime.
Toni Hardley Award
Janice Balodocchi is this year’s recipient of the Toni Hardley Award for Excellence in Supervision–an award dedicated to the memory of Toni Hardley, a beloved supervisor of DEM who is remembered for her calm, cool, and collected nature. As one supervisor remembers her “She was the supervisor everyone aspired to be.” Janice was awarded for her outstanding commitment to leadership, guidance, and support to her staff. She is revered on the 9-1-1 dispatch floor, and we commend her for her service to our dispatchers.
9-1-1 Heroes Awards
The 9-1-1 Heroes Award gives us the opportunity to recognize children who called 9-1-1 for family members in peril, and the dispatchers who answered their calls. This year we honored Allessandra Esquivel and Janaia McKinley who called 9-1-1 for family members experiencing medical emergencies; and DEM Dispatchers Celia Velasquez and Burt Wilson who helped them to save their loved ones.
About the Calls:
Allessandra had to assist her non-English speaking parents when calling 9-1-1 because her baby brother was choking. DEM Dispatcher Celia Velasquez assisted Allessandra by instructing her to perform CPR on her infant brother.
Janaia called 9-1-1 to report her grandmother’s heart attack. DEM Dispatcher Burt Wilson directed Janaia until an ambulance and paramedics were on scene.
A Morning of Ceremony, Community, & Connection
Every spring DEM joins our fellow San Franciscans to commemorate the Great San Francisco Earthquake and Fire that took place on April 18, 1906 at 5:12 a.m. The early morning setting is stepped in years of tradition with revelers dressed in turn-of-the-century attire. Through song, speech, and a little spray paint we reflect on what happened that morning many, many years ago; and we celebrate how San Francisco rose from the ashes to become the resilient and beautiful city it is today.
DEM personnel at Dolores Park where the ‘Golden Hydrant’ (one of the only working fire hydrants after the 1906 earthquake ) gets a customary fresh coat of gold spray paint every April 18th.
San Francisco Emergency Services Week: Recognizing Paramedics, EMTs, and Hospital Providers
This May we celebrated our San Francisco paramedics, EMTs and hospital providers with various events during National Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Week. For the first time City Hall was lit in EMS colors, as San Francisco joined the ranks of other major cities like Boston and New York that light iconic city structures in the EMS colors during National EMS Week.
We also honored our EMS community by hosting San Francisco’s EMS Day at Civic Center Plaza where ambulance service providers, EMTs and paramedics gathered to share apparatus displays and educational information with the public. San Francisco City College stole the show by exhibiting hands-only CPR skills and encouraging public participation.
Also a component of San Francisco’s EMS Week is the EMS Awards–annual awards program that recognizes outstanding emergency medical services delivered to San Francisco. The awardees are nominated by their peers for a variety of emergency medical services including: emergency medical dispatch; field medical response; hospital medical service; community service; and the Raymond Lim Excellence in EMS award.We were thrilled to see DEM’s very own Dawn Mahoney awarded with the EMS Dispatcher of the Year award.
Welcome Our Newest Dispatchers
Congratulations to the POST 51 Academy, DEM’s newest group of dispatcher recruits who graduated from academy training. We wish you the best of luck in the next phase of your journey to become one of San Francisco’s Public Safety Dispatchers!