Honoring Our DATAMARK Staff and Those Currently Serving in the PSAP

April 13, 2020

At DATAMARK, we are proud to have a team of seasoned experts who have had long careers in the PSAP prior to joining our team. For National Public Safety Telecommunicator’s week, we wanted to honor them along with the millions of men and women serving as the front-line to answer emergency calls across the nation. These are our team’s stories:

Sandy Dyre, ENP, CPM
I am Sandy Dyre.  I started my 9-1-1 public safety career in 1990 as a dispatcher for the Pinal County Sheriff’s Office (AZ), before 9-1-1 I was a part of how business was done in our county.  We were able to bring 9-1-1 to our citizens in 1992.  I was a 9-1-1 dispatcher for 12 years before changing my role from frontline dispatcher to 9-1-1 administration in 2005.  For five years, I was a county-wide 9-1-1 System Administrator for Pinal County supporting five primary Public Safety Answering Points (PSAPs) regarding all their 9-1-1 needs administratively (budget, bills, contract management) to 9-1-1 network, services and equipment installation and upgrades, mapping needs, and their Master Street Address Guide (MSAG) and wireless 9-1-1 call routing needs as their MSAG Coordinator and Wireless Administrator.  Prior to joining DATAMARK a year ago, I supported statewide 9-1-1 efforts for eight years as a 9-1-1 Project Manager for the State of Arizona 9-1-1 Program assisting Arizona’s 86 PSAPs in all things 9-1-1 related from new and improved 9-1-1 networks, equipment, and services to funding to training to PSAP operations.  I am a National Emergency Number Association (NENA) Emergency Number Professional (ENP) and currently co-chair the NENA Real-Time Text Working Group and NENA GIS Data Stewardship for Road Centerlines Work Group.

I have been blessed by having a long career in 9-1-1 and public safety growing up through all the good, the bad, and the ugly (ugly is pretty much defined as Wireless Phase 0).  With all the heartache comes lifelong connections to my 9-1-1 family and friends, and a commitment that is only known by those who have weathered it together.  Thank you for your continued commitment to your agencies, communities, and each other.  #IAM911

Brian MacMurdo, ENP
My name is Brian MacMurdo.  I have had the honor to serve in the Public Safety Industry for the past 21 years.  The majority of that time has been with Hamilton County Communications Center in southwest Ohio.  At nineteen years old I became a call-taker and dispatcher on 3rd Shift.  I’d later become a training officer, supervisor, shift manager and operations manager.  I realized early on that this was a challenging, frustrating, mentally exhausting, yet extremely rewarding career.

This week we honor you! Not many people can do what you do!  You are the true first, first responder.  You hear the cries for help.  You obtain the vital information to get the caller the assistance that is needed.  Your voice is the calm in the storm.  What you do and how you do it impacts the lives of so many people.  It is a true honor to recognize you as the heroes that you are.  Thank you for your service, sacrifice, and all that you do to ensure the safety of those in your community and the officers, fire and EMS personnel you serve! #IAM911

Mark Whitby, ENP
I am Mark Whitby. I have spent over 19 years in the PSAP. I stated as a call-taker, teletype operator, radio operator, CTO, Shift Coordinator, Communications Training Coordinator, and Acting Supervisor at my first agency.  My second agency, I was a Communications Supervisor, TAC/LAI, QA, and Services Division Commander.  My third agency, I was the E9-1-1 Director. I spent time with a CAD vendor and worked with PSAP for training, support, and go-lives. I worked with 2 counties on the 9-1-1 support side, handling database management, MSAG, ALI/ANI, telephone service providers, training, QA, and Emergency Management operations. I enjoyed my positions, the calls and responders, and the camaraderie with my co-workers. We supported each other and worked as a team. Thank you for all each of you do at your agency. You are all amazing! #IAM911 

Bob Murphy, ENP, RPL
My name is Bob Murphy, my first experience in a dispatch center was in 1999, working for United States Steel in Clairton Pennsylvania. I was responsible for taking emergency calls and dispatching the facilities Fire-Rescue, EMS and Security teams. We worked in a guard shanty with one telephone and used a punch clock and an “incident sheet” to track incident information.

In 2007 I began working for Allegheny County Emergency Services in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania as a Telecommunicator. I remember having the feeling like a baseball player, “I was called up from AAA to the major league!” We were a consolidated PSAP serving more than 1.3 million people, 130 municipalities and split into four geographic zones – I was assigned the South Zone. The South Zone provided call taking and dispatching services for the southwest portion of Allegheny County along with the County Police (Patrol, Homicide, Investigations and SWAT), Sheriff’s Office and our Emergency Services Division, which included Hazardous Materials teams and the County Fire Marshal. After a few short years I earned the position of Communications Training Officer and had responsibilities for training new hires. I loved the job and all the tasks that came with it. Shortly thereafter I was promoted to a Lead Telecommunicator an assumed the responsibility of managing our zone on the afternoon shift – the busiest shift in the PSAP. In 2015 I was promoted to 911 Accreditation and Professional Development Coordinator, my responsibilities included managing our training and quality assurance teams.

In 2017 my family and I relocated to Okaloosa County Florida after I accepted a position as the 911 Communications Division Chief for their Fire and EMS PSAP. While at Okaloosa County, I met some of the most incredible public safety Telecommunicators in the world. We were a growing tourist community with men and women who worked so hard to maintain the safety of the citizens and first responders. I said countless times, “Okaloosa’s team does more with less than any other telecommunicator I have ever met!” I grew so much in my time at Okaloosa; it is where I attended the NENA CMCP course, obtained my NENA ENP and APCO RPL. I even had the opportunity get “in the trenches” again and work alongside our team members taking 911 calls and dispatching units.

I miss working in the PSAP every day, not just taking 911 calls or dispatching units to and working complex incidents. I miss the comradery of the team – of course I also miss the “family-oriented” disagreements we shared too! As we embark on National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week we should all be reminded of how incredible each of you are – individually and collectively. We literally could not do what we do every day if you weren’t there! You are the true first responder and without you nobody else in public safety could do their jobs. In this very difficult time, YOU are there for US! Thank you for all you do for US, for your FAMILY, for your CO-WORKERS and for your COMMUNITY! I am proud to say, once a dispatcher always a dispatcher! #IAM911

 On behalf of the DATAMARK team, we thank you for the long hours, sleepless nights, and calming voices you carry to support all of us in our most trying hours.

By: Stephanie McCowat

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