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Public Safety Communicators recognized during Tenth Annual Ceremony


Midhurst/April 10, 2017 – The Simcoe County 9-1-1 Management Board Public Safety Communications Team Award and Youth Award winners will be recognized at the tenth annual ceremony on April 13, 2017.

This ceremony recognizes the exceptional work of the unsung but essential call-takers, dispatchers, and supervisors in our emergency response system. These are the men and women who provide a vital link to callers in distress and provide a communications safety net to emergency responders on scene. Since its inception, six Communicators-of-the-Year, 238 individual and team communicators, and nine brave youth have been recognized.

"Over the last ten years, we have had the pleasure of honouring these steadfast individuals and the incredible work they do under challenging, and sometimes devastating conditions," said Warden Gerry Marshall. "I know I speak for all Simcoe County residents when I say we are truly grateful to all public safety communicators for offering a calm, understanding, and supportive voice in what is often in the hardest moment in someone's life."

The 2016 Youth Award is being presented to 10-year-old Ravyn Rideout from the City of Barrie. On February 19, 2016, Ravyn was home with her grandmother who was having difficulty breathing. Though unsure and scared, she called 9-1-1 and remained calm and attentive to the communicator's questions, showing composure and compassion beyond her years.

The winners of the 2016 Simcoe County Public Safety Communications Joint Team Award from Barrie Police Service are being recognized for their response to a call from a man who had fallen into icy waters on November 11, 2016. The man was able to relay that he had fallen into a creek, but did not know his location. Call-taker Melissa Nadeau gathered what information she could and worked with dispatchers Tonya Kennedy and Dana Forrest to have the caller's phone pinged and dispatched officers to his suspected location.

As they narrowed down the search area, Communications Supervisor Shirley Dunn assisted in co-ordinating the search. These communicators had officers utilize their sirens, using different pitch sounds, until both the caller and call-taker could hear the sirens. By working with the officers and having them bring their sirens closer together, the man was located submerged under a bridge. Thanks to their outstanding team work and quick thinking, the caller was located just 30 minutes after initiating the call.

Three teams are also being recognized in the Team Recognition category:

  • South Simcoe Police team for their response to an acutely distraught caller
  • Barrie Fire & Emergency Service team for their response to an ice storm
  • Georgian Central Ambulance Communications Centre who responded to an ice storm system outage
EVENT:Tenth Annual Simcoe County 9-1-1 Management Board Public Safety Communications Awards 2016
WhereSimcoe County Museum 
1151 Highway 26
 Minesing, Ontario

Thursday, April 13, 2017
2 p.m.
​Photo and Video​Ceremony and interviews with recipients

The County of Simcoe is composed of 16 member municipalities and provides crucial public services to County residents, in addition to providing paramedic and social services to the separated cities of Barrie and Orillia. Visit our website at

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Allan Greenwood
Director, Corporate Communications 
705-726-9300 ext. 1230
705-794-9301 (mobile)

Jennifer Straw
Communications Co-ordinator
705-726-9300 ext. 1036
705-790-5979 (mobile)