Anthony Foster, a communications officer for Douglas County Emergency Communications, was named the 2013 Telecommunicator of the Year.
Foster was one of several individuals recognized by the emergency communications department at Wednesday's Douglas County Commissioners meeting. Over 50 people, including emergency response professionals and their families, filled the Douglas County Courthouse benches.
Foster began his career as a dispatcher in Douglas County in 2010. He was honored for his positivity and hard work ethic, said Scott Ruf, director of Emergency Communications, who presented the awards. Ruf also received a Distinguished Service Award from Douglas County Sheriff Ken McGovern.
Also recognized was dispatcher Zachary Towns for the Lifesaving Award. The honor came for the way he handled an emergency call regarding a cardiac arrest in November 2013. Towns provided CPR instructions over the phone until paramedics arrived. The patient survived, Ruf said.
Seven dispatchers received the the Unit Citation for relaying information related to a July 2013 shooting that resulted in a suspect's apprehension. That unit includes: deputy director Lori Alexander, supervisor Edna Brubaker, assistant supervisor Darren Johnson and dispatchers Timothy Reisbig, Andrew Miller, Kate Haehl and Foster.
Three emergency responders received the Public Safety Meritorious Award for service in the interest of Douglas County Emergency Communications. Those include: Capt. Steven Zarnowiec of the Lawrence Police Department; Capt. Gary Bunting of the Douglas County Sheriff's Department; and Chief Bill Stark of Lawrence-Douglas County Fire-Medical.