POINT PLEASANT — A longtime Mason County 9-1-1 dispatcher has been named the Association of Public Safety Communications Officials (APCO) West Virginia Telecommunicator of the Year.
Ethel Taylor of Point Pleasant was surprised with the award Tuesday during a party in her honor at the 9-1-1 center.
Taylor has been with Mason County 9-1-1 since 2001. Along with serving as a telecommunicator, she is a supervisor, and is described by her co-workers as the “matriarch” of the agency.
Nominated by Matt Shell, 9-1-1 director of operations, his nomination letter stated, in part:
“Over the last twenty years, Ethel has continuously proved her commitment and selflessness to our agency, and to the citizens of Mason County. Ethel is an unbelievable mentor. The knowledge and skills that Ethel has passed down to a younger generation of employees, including myself, is unparalleled. As the senior telecommunicator, Ethel leads from the front, as she demands perfection from her co-workers and will accept nothing less.”
Shell said the award was very competitive with 42 of the 55 counties submitting nominations. He said several counties made more than one nomination, and one county submitted an entire shift of employees.
Tiffany Franklin, county 9-1-1 director, said Taylor is more than a dispatcher to those who work with her.
“She pulls us together,” Franklin said.
She added Taylor is the one who brings trays of cookies to distribute at Christmas, organizes gift baskets when fellow first responders get hurt, or collects for those who lose loved ones.
In accepting the award, Taylor told those attending that she could not have achieved the recognition without all of them. Taylor will be retiring from her position in 2022.
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Mindy Kearns is a freelance writer for Ohio Valley Publishng, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.