Annually, the HRECC awards one Communicator our highest honor.  The HRECC Communicator of the Year is a prestigious award earned by an employee who excelled in all areas of operation during the previous year.  This award is given annually during National Telecommunicator’s Week, and is selected from nominations submitted by other ECC employees.  The highest honor one can earn is to be recognized for their excellence by those they stand shoulder to shoulder with during the most difficult of times.

This year’s award recipient received the highest number of nominations in ECC history.  This alone speaks volumes for the respect and admiration their peers have for them and the job they do everyday.

After being hired by the ECC, they worked diligently to commit guidelines to memory, learn the “right” way of doing things and were quickly released in all specialties of operation.  It didn’t take long for this employee to become a “go-to” person for other personnel and to be well-respected by those in the field.

Our recipient is intelligent, respectful of others and has a work ethic that exceeds that of most anyone I know.  Their supervisor describes them as a problem solver and someone who can think outside the box to come up with a simple solution that keeps the ECC running.  They are quick learning, quick thinking and quick acting.

Our recipient is ready for any task and never complains about her assignment for the day.  One letter of nomination noted how she is always willing to help others and another mentioned how she comes to work each day always radiating positivity.  She was described as having strong and ethical values, being supportive of her co-workers and working as a team player.  Another nomination noted her as a go-to person for questions and someone always there to lend a hand.

From a management standpoint, this is obviously the type of employee we love to have as part of our team and this person didn’t waste any time in taking the next step in her career when she applied for an ECC trainer’s position.  During the multi-faceted selection process it wasn’t hard to see how much passion and hard work this employee puts into the HRECC and every task she undertakes.  She was selected as an ECC trainer and since that time has served professionally in that role offering knowledge to others while continuing to build her own knowledge and setting her trainees up for success.

She is not only respected by those who work with her each day but she is respected by all members of the ECC.  Her dedication and innovation was not more commonly noted than when an ECC console riser broke last year and our employee took it upon herself to saw and cut a board to fit the console and brought her makeshift keyboard desk with her to work so no one would have to suffer and wait until the repair company could get it fixed.  Obviously with that story everyone who works in the ECC knows who our COTY is going to be.

Senior Communicator Carenda Strawderman is a true example to all 9-1-1 professionals.  She graduated from Virginia Tech and worked several jobs prior to applying for a Communicator position in the ECC.  “I have found my career,” Carenda said in a testimonial she submitted for use on the ECC website.  “To me it’s not a job.  I look forward to coming to work each day knowing I will help many people and make a difference in someone’s life, she added.”