The announcement of this year's honoree comes during National Public Safety Telecommunications Week, April 14-20. Initiated by Congress in 1991, this week recognizes the men and women who serve as public safety telecommunications professionals. In addition to awarding the Telecommunicator of the Year, Naperville also recognized City Dispatcher Sarah Cowan and 9-1-1 telecommunicators Harold Downs, Allegra Glienke, Nick Nigro and Jordan Sloop for their exemplary service throughout the past year.
The Telecommunicator of the Year Award was presented by the Naperville Police and Fire Chiefs to Kalah Considine in recognition of her 42 years of dedicated service to the Naperville community. Considine began her career in Naperville as a police officer in 1977. She became a dispatcher with the City's electric department in 1983, was promoted to chief dispatcher in 1999 and assumed her current role as emergency communications manager in 2011.
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"Kalah has certainly witnessed the growth and challenges associated with building and maintaining a grade A, state-of-the-art, responsive telecommunication system here in Naperville," said Fire Chief Mark Puknaitis. "Her diligence, professionalism and attention to detail while always keeping the people of our organization first have succeeded in providing what is truly the top-rated emergency public safety answering point for our residents and the Naperville community. For that, we say thank you and wish her all the very best in a long and healthy retirement."
"The job of an emergency communications manager has become increasingly more complex technologically in recent years, and Kalah has demonstrated adaptability and proficiency time and again by continuing to upgrade her skills through education and networking," said Police Chief Robert Marshall. "Kalah ensures our technology keeps pace with the rapidly-changing landscape of public safety communications, and she does so while always ensuring that her employees had the best training and work environment available. This organization will definitely miss her leadership and dedication, but we wish her the best in her retirement."
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The emergency communications manager oversees 26 telecommunicators and four supervisors in Naperville's nationally-accredited 9-1-1 dispatch center, which is staffed to handle emergency and non-emergency phone calls and police/fire incidents. The Naperville Public Safety Answering Point telecommunicators answer a daily average of 140 9-1-1 calls and 300 non-emergency calls. In 2018, they handled the dispatching of approximately 81,500 police events and 14,000 fire/emergency medical incidents.
The emergency communications manager also oversees 10 city dispatchers, who answered more than 80,000 calls related to the city's public works department and water and electric utilities in 2018.
The Naperville Police and Fire Departments are pleased to recognize Considine with the Telecommunicator of the Year Award in recognition of her leadership and expertise in the field as well as her dedication to her employees and service to the community.
Photo caption: Police Chief Robert Marshall (left) and Fire Chief Mark Puknaitis (right) present Emergency Communications Manager Kalah Considine (center) with Naperville's 2019 Telecommunicator of the Year Award.
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