When first responders require backup, or when a citizen calls 911, public safety communications officers are the first to answer and must, in rapid time, respond to emergency situations and provide key support to emergency responders in the field. Through their creativeness, initiative, and ability to think outside the box, the 12 communications officers (plus additional staff) working on August 12th fielded hundreds of calls and coordinated with multiple local law enforcement, fire, and emergency medical agencies, as well as state and local resources from around the Commonwealth to protect public safety.
On August 12th by 7:30 a.m., large groups had already gathered in downtown Charlottesville to oppose or support the rally. The next twelve hours produced not only the usual emergency calls received by the ECC every day, but triple the call volume from residents of the community, as well as from viewers watching live news coverage of the incident around the country.
“We knew that the nation would be watching the events taking place on August 12th, and while we will never forget the tragic loss of life, I believe we performed better than we had ever before. Because of our love for our community and because we needed to,” said Interim Director of the ECC, Todd Richardson.
The ECC received the award at a ceremony during the Virginia NENA/APCO 2018 Spring Conference in Virginia Beach on May 10, 2018.