CHICAGO: As National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week continues, Mayor Rahm Emanuel and the City of Chicago’s Office of Emergency Management and Communications (OEMC) took the opportunity to recognize the outstanding public safety efforts provided by 9-1-1 call takers and dispatchers, traffic management personnel and others, to the city of Chicago and its residents at an awards ceremony this morning.

„Every day the extraordinary men and women of OEMC dedicate themselves to keeping our residents safe and our city secure. So on behalf of a grateful city, I congratulate these individuals on this recognition and I thank them for their outstanding service,” said Mayor Emanuel. „By responding to our residents in need of help with care, compassion, and professionalism, these individuals not only save lives but they represent the very highest values of the City of Chicago. Every resident of our city owes them a great debt of gratitude for the service they provide.”

“We are proud to commend those serving in an emergency management capacity – displaying extraordinary commitment and professionalism in what are often very challenging situations,” said Executive Director Gary W. Schenkel. “No matter what the role or circumstance, these police and fire communications operators, traffic control aides, public safety technology staff and emergency management coordinators contribute to the overall operations and the important task of keeping residents of this city safe and secure. „

At the award ceremony, OEMC recognized one of its Superintendent of Traffic Services for the Traffic Management Authority as Employee of the Year. On August 2, 2014 while at a post during Lollapalooza, the employee was approached by the parents of three year old boy who frantically told her that their child was not breathing. EMS was notified and in the meantime, the staff performed CPR on the toddler and the boy was breathing again by the time the ambulance arrived.

April is National 9-1-1 Education Month and the second full week of April is highlighted to acknowledge those working in the public safety communications field. This year, National Public Safety Communicators Week is designated for April 13 through April 19. The City uses this opportunity to recognize the work of staff from both 9-1-1 Dispatch Operations and 3-1-1 City Services, which plays a critical role in assisting residents during public safety emergencies such as flooding, building issues and extreme weather incidents.

Among others recognized at the ceremony is the dispatcher who handled the 10-1 incident at 72nd and Lowe Streets on October 7, 2014, where a Chicago Police Captain was shot. During the incident, which involved a wanted fugitive from Indiana who barricaded himself in a building, the dispatcher calmly handled all radio traffic related to the scene of the urgent incident, including the broadcast on citywide zones for all other available outside units in close proximity. Her command of the dispatch of the incident garnered praise from the CPD members involved in the incident, as well as the Captain, who has since recovered from his injuries.

OEMC is proud of the dedication and contribution of its employees and appreciates their strong efforts to assist the public and fellow City personnel to ensure a better quality of life in the City of Chicago.

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The Chicago Office of Emergency Management and Communications was established in 1995 to coordinate the City’s delivery of Police, Fire and Emergency Medical Services resources. OEMC operates Chicago’s public safety communications system, managing emergency situations and coordinating major events, 3-1-1 and 9-1-1 Communications Operations. For more information visit our website at www.cityofchicago.org/oemc or “like” us on Facebook atwww.facebook.com/coemc.