Cecil County Dispatcher Puskarich Named Tele-Communicator of the Year
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 9, 2018
ELKTON, MD. – Dispatcher Angela Puskarich was honored recently by the Emergency Numbers Systems Board as the Cecil County Tele-Communicator of the Year.
Ms. Puskarich began her career with the Cecil County Department of Emergency Services (DES) on January 9, 2017. In the short time that she has been with DES, she has accomplished more than many have in a lifetime. Her teammates describe her as “passionate, dedicated, tenacious, humble, and unwavering.”
In the last year, she has received five commendations from co-workers and the public for her exemplary customer service skills and level of professionalism. Puskarich has shown great mastery of the call-taking profession and has since moved on to the police dispatch discipline. She obtained her CTO certification and has begun training new call-takers.
“Angela is the employee that we wish we had six more of,” expressed DES Captain Samantha Riley. “As if her plate wasn’t full enough, she also does public education and has organized a volunteer ‘Cecil Cares’ initiative to collect supplies for a local animal rescue.”
On July 22nd, 2018, her profession threw her a curve ball and Ms. Puskarich swung for the fences. A man was camping in a highly wooded area during torrential rain and became trapped in rising flood water. He retreated to a tree to escape being swept away by the current. The caller had a 911 only cell phone and it was imperative that he be kept on the line. The caller could only describe his location by what he could see around him in the dark of night. Ms. Puskarich used her mapping to determine the location of the man and initiate contact with the fire department.
Initially, responders were unable to locate him. Ms. Puskarich tried having the man yell out for help and wave his phone flashlight. After a significant amount of time, they were able to locate him but were unable to access him due to the current. They requested the swiftwater rescue team from Harford County to assist. After their team was assembled, the crew traveled from Harford County to Elkton and successfully rescued the gentleman from the tree. Ms. Puskarich stayed on the line with him for FIVE hours while plans were made to extricate the man. Her positivity kept him in good spirits in a seemingly helpless scenario. Her determination and relentless pursuit of customer service led to a successful outcome.
“Angela inspires everyone around her to be better, to aim higher, and to never forget our purpose. She reminds those who have lost their spark, why we do what we do,” added DES Director Richard Brooks.
“I would like to personally extend my sincere appreciation to Ms. Puskarich for not only her dedication to her career but her compassion for human life,” said County Executive Alan McCarthy. “Congratulations, Angela, on this recognition from your peers and for this well-deserved honor. Thank you for all that you do to assist in the health and safety of the citizens of Cecil County.”
Photo: Assistant Chief of Communications Paula Robinson, Captain Samantha Riley, Dispatcher Angela Puskarich, and DES Director Richard Brooks
Public Information Officer
Cecil County Government