Typically, we do this in the spring of the award year, but due to an international pandemic, that wasn’t able to happen. With that said, these winners, along with those select for the 2021 Awards (Nominate today!), will be recognized during the Spring 2021 MPSCC.

Congratulations to the 2020 Missouri Public Safety Communications Award Winners!

2020 Director of the Year

The 2020 Director of the Year Award goes to April Ford of the Jasper County Emergency Services. April has been serving the citizens and responders of Jasper County, as well as her staff, since 2011. April believes in teamwork and her work family aka “wamily.” She fosters a true team attitude with her employees and peers and encourages regular wamily events at JASCO.

April has spent countless hours educating the public, her employees, her peers and lawmakers about the true work of 9-1-1 – from how calls are placed to the standards by which they should be received. She demonstrates a true desire to share what she knows with the rest of her peers. In addition to these, her efforts with the Missouri Public Safety Communications Conference have provided those in Missouri’s emergency communications field the opportunity to receive unequivocal training and networking.

Congratulations April Ford, Missouri’s 2020 Director of the Year.

Supervisor of the Year

The 2020 Missouri Public Safety Communications Supervisor of the Year Award goes to Samantha Houttuin of the Franklin County Communications Center.

Sam has worked in public safety for 10+ years.  She has been a supervisor and is dedicated her life to helping others in emergency services.  Her staff says she is the glue that holds any team and she is there when you have any questions, are overwhelmed, are lost or just need a friend.  It is her commitment to her team and continued communication between command staff and the line dispatchers that lead her to be recognized for this award.

Congratulations Samantha Houttuin, Missouri’s 2020 Supervisor of the Year!

Telecommunicator of the Year

The 2020 Missouri Public Safety Communications Telecommunicator of the Year Award goes to Hannah Ruskey of the Grandview Police Department.

Hannah has worked as a dispatcher since January 2018.  Through adversity, she is always upbeat and she is the ideal co-worker.  She is positive and always has a smile on her face.  She is dedicated and a team player.  It is because of her commitment to her team and her department that she is being recognized for this award.

Congratulations Hannah Ryskey, Missouri’s 2020 Telecommunicator of the Year!

‘George Major’ Trainer of the Year

The 2020 Missouri Public Safety Communications ‘George Major’ Trainer of the Year Award goes to Tabitha Stanley of the Rolla Central Communications.

Tabitha started her career at Rolla Central Communciations in October 2002.  She has been a trainer for over 15 years.  She is described as one of the most consistent employees and always gives 100%.  She is a team player and puts her employees first.  She is compassionate and a mentor by encouraging and providing constructive criticism and remains patient and is one of the most valued employees.  Her agency stated she leads by example and inspires her trainees, those she supervises and even the director.  Because of her dedication and commitment to inspiring, she is being recognized for this award.

Congratulations Tabitha Stanley, Missouri’s 2020 ‘George Major’ Trainer of the Year!

Information Technologist of the Year

The 2020 Missouri Public Safety Communications Information Technologist of the Year goes to Maria Walser of the Mid-America Regional Council!

Maria started her public safety career 20+ years ago and she currently provides training to the MARC database staff, quality control and integrity to ensure that the 911 database, MSAG and map data is accurate.  Maria’s commitment to integrity has always been a priority and she is considered an expert in her field.  She is a leader and has trained and taken on extra duties when they have been short staffed to make sure the work is completed at the highest level possible and it is her commitment that made her peers recognize her for this award. 

Congratulations Maria Walser, Missouri’s 2020 Information Technologist of the Year!

Team of the Year

The 2020 Missouri Public Safety Communications Awards Team of the Year goes to Lexi Friedli and Tiffany Beede of Audrain County 9-1-1.

Lexi has been with Audrain County since September 2017 and Tiffany since November 2016.  Lexi is the CTO and is a trained EMD, starting her career at 18 years of age.  She has wrote the training policy and is patient and understanding with the team.  Tiffany is a trained EMD and is pursuing a degree in psychology and she assisted in the creation of a peer support group for the agency.  This team was nominated when Lexi answered a call from a male that was driving on Highway 54 with a female in the vehicle in active labor.  She encouraged the driver to pull over and began pre-arrival instructions.  Tiffany dispatched the ambulance within 40 seconds, while Lexi assisted in instructing the birth of a “healthy, breathing, crying baby girl”.  This team worked together cohesively and this was Audrain Counties first deliver with the aid of an EMD.  For these reasons, this team is being recognized for this years award.

Congratulations Lexi Friedli and Tiffany Beede, Missouri’s 2020 Team of the Year!

Hero of the Year

The 2020 Missouri Public Safety Communications Award for Hero of the Year goes to Hannah Batson from Jasper County, Missouri.

December 19, 2019, just after 1700hrs, Greg Batson (former Jasper County Deputy and Joplin Police Officer) was walking from his hotel in Kansas City to his place of employment, Kansas City Southern Railroad Corporate office, while talking to his wife, Tammy (a former dispatcher), on the phone.  While en route he began to slur his speech and was showing obvious signs of medical distress.  Tammy was able to keep Greg on the phone while Hannah located her father using a cell phone app, Life360.  After determining his location, Hannah dialed 9-1-1 and reached Jasper County 9-1-1 dispatcher, Kima Burnett.  Kima quickly connected Hannah with a dispatcher in Kansas City.  All the while, a passerby saw him go down and started to help.  One man got on his phone and was relaying information to Tammy so that she could relay information through Hannah and JASCO to Kansas City 9-1-1.  He was given TPA within 45 minutes and had an angiogram within 90 minutes and a large clot was removed from the right side of his brain.  Tammy reported he has no residual side effects from the stroke.

“It is Hannah’s actions and ingenuity in finding her father, quickly dialing 9-1-1, and remaining calm and collected that contributed greatly to not only saving his life, but allowing him to have the best outcome.  She is truly a HERO.” (Tammy Batson’s Facebook post on December 17th, 2019)

Congratulations Hannah Batson, Missouri’s 2020 Hero of the Year!

The Missouri Public Safety Communications Awards program is seeking nominations for our 2021 awards program. If you know of someone in the public safety communications field who is worthy of recognition, nominate them today! Nominations must be received by 11:59 PM on April 15th, 2021. Learn more about this program, or submit your nomination on our awards program page!