911logoby Martha E. Conway

(Wampsville – Dec. 6, 2016) Trio of dispatchers named ‘Real Heroes’ by American Red Cross

Madison County E-911 public safety communicators Peter Bianco, Thomas Molinari and Melanie Thornton were recognized by resolution Dec. 6, 2016, at the Madison County Board of Supervisors meeting in Wampsville after receiving the American Red Cross American Heroes Lifeline Award.

The Lifeline Award is presented to an individual or a 9-1-1 dispatcher or caller who utilized emergency communications to save the life of another.

The nomination by Mellissa V. Hannan, assistant director, Madison County E911, reads:

“On Aug. 16, 2015, at approximately 23:35 hours, a vehicle operated by a female carrying her 10-year-old daughter and 5-year-old son rolled over and crashed. In pitch darkness, the 5-year-old removed himself from his carseat, crawled through the wreckage and found his mother’s cell phone. He called his father, who attempted to figure out where they were. The father then told the 5-year-old to hang up and call 9-1-1, even though he didn’t want to sever that connection.

“The 9-1-1 Center received the call at 23:41 hours by Dispatcher Molinari. The 5-year-old proceeded to explain the crash and that he believed his mother and sister were deceased. EMS, fire and police were dispatched to the area indicated by the cell location on the 9-1-1 system.

“In the darkness, in a vehicle on its roof, the child maintained contact with Molinari, who talked to him and kept him calm. AT this time, Dispatcher Thornton was getting fire, EMS and police en route while Dispatcher Bianco spoke with family, trying to ascertain probably location. The location was [identified] and Molinari instructed the child to begin blowing the horn in an effort to assist responders with locating the vehicle. The child did so, and seven minutes later, Oneida City Fire located the vehicle.

“Communications centers function best through the use of teamwork. This call demonstrates the absolute necessity of that teamwork and how effective it is when communicators function as a unit. It took the joint effort of all three communicators, who of whom are relatively new to the job, to find and assist this family.

“Without the calming voice of Molinari, the investigative questioning of Bianco and the multi-tasking of Thornton, locating these individuals would have been far more difficult and taken far longer.

“It is for this reason that I nominate Dispatchers Molinari, Thornton and Bianco as real heroes.”

“My dispatchers do not often get the recognition they deserve,” Hannan said. “It’s awards and articles that give them that recognition.”

The resolution cited that every man, woman and child in the United States and Canada will dial 911 at least twice in their lifetime on average; that the only thing that connects the public to first-responders are the 9-1-1 public safety communicators; this award recognizes Bianco, Molinari and Thornton in recognition of their outstanding service, efforts to public safety and dedication to those in need and acknowledges their performance during a horrific motor vehicle accident where the location was in doubt and through multi-tasking skills, performance under extreme pressure and the ability to adapt, a young individual was provided aid.

Martha E. Conway is publisher of www.MadisonCountyCourier.com.

By martha

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