The nominations are in and the votes have been cast — Leslye Harrell has been named the Telecommunicator of the Year by the Hendricks County Communications Center.
Harrell was honored at an event this week by her co-workers and management of the HCCC. Director Steve Cook presented a plaque during a celebration Wednesday.
The award is always given during National Telecommunicators Week, which is April 8-14 this year. The week was first declared by President Bill Clinton in 1994.
“We do fun stuff during the week, like dress up and have pitch-ins,” Harrell said.
Cook added, “Leslye is an excellent employee. She was hired after the merger and has done a very good job.”
The honor comes from a nomination process. Co-workers nominate individuals for the award. They are then voted on by supervisors and administrators.
Harrell started with the center four years ago — just after a county-wide consolidation project.
“I really like the consolidated setting,” she said. “It makes the mutual aid easier and cuts down on response times.”
She said she loves her job and that she came from an EMS background.
“Normally, people don’t think of dispatch as a career,” Harrell said. “Here they give you opportunities to advance and really make it into a career.”
HCCC has 36 full-time employees and 10 to 15 part-time employees. Telecommunicators work on 12-hour shifts dispatching all public safety entities in Hendricks County. It is operated out of a facility at the Plainfield Police Department.
“We are here 24-7 dispatching police, fire, and EMS,” Harrell said. “We usually have six to 10 dispatchers on each shift and all of our employees are CPR certified and APCO trained.”
Cook said Harrell was just promoted as a supervisor two weeks ago. She is also a training supervisor.
Cook, who has been working in public safety for 34 years, has been with HCC since it merged.
“This is an excellent community,” he said. “The public safety agencies out here have really gotten behind the concept of consolidated communications.”
During the celebration, all staff members were presented with gifts donated by the community.