A Token of Your Appreciation

Comm centers across the country take the opportunity during NPSTW to recognize outstanding employees. Some have banquets and bestow awards, while others take a more casual approach.

Some of the awards given include:

  • Telecommunicator of the Year
  • Call Taker of The Year
  • Communications Officer of the Year
  • Communications Training Officer of the Year
  • Supervisor of the Year
  • Administrative Support Person of the Year
  • Technical Support Specialist of the Year

Recognition doesn’t have to be tied to position, however.  You might recognize staff for:

  • Years of service
  • Incidents that showed their ability to operate under pressure, or
  • Calls where the telecommunicator was pivotal in saving a life or preventing an accident.

In some comm centers, supervisors select recipients; in others, winners are selected through nominations and balloting submitted and voted upon by their peers.  The lucky agencies that have money available for the purpose might give winners flowers, a plaque or a gift card, but don’t let lack of funds stop you. Recognition by one’s supervisors and peers is the real reward.  You can find a free certificate template online and/or write a personal note of gratitude.

Another option is to have employees recognize each other. One agency in Washington state prints out these cards, which employees sign for each other.  You can extend the recognition by asking field responders or administrators to sign them also.

Contributions and Donations

Another source of awards and gifts are donations from agencies served, the local chamber of commerce or local businesses. Many PSAPs indicate a desire from local businesses and agencies to contribute something in recognition of NPSTW. If there are a few big items instead of something for everyone, hold drawings for the items. One comm center provides six raffle tickets to each employee that they can enter to win their choice of four prizes. On the other hand, if you have obtained lots of small items, you can jazz it up a bit by making baskets or totebags for each employee.

Remember, whether you host a fancy banquet or send thank you notes, what’s important is that you step up and recognize your colleagues during this special week. As one commenter wrote, “Telecommunicators are an essential part of each agency and should be commended each chance that we have the opportunity to do so.”