Department of Public Safety Communications Receives Two Top Honors


Aug. 31, 2009
OPA 158/09

News Highlights  

  • Fairfax County 9-1-1 Center receives inaugural Horizon Award.
  • Director Steve Souder also recognized as 2009 9-1-1 Public Safety Communications Center Director of the Year.

At the 2009 Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials (APCO) International 75th Anniversary Conference and Exposition, held Aug. 16-21, in Las Vegas, Nev., the Fairfax County Department of Public Safety Communications (DPSC) was recognized with two prestigious awards.

APCO, the largest public safety communications association in the world with more than 16,000 members, recognized DPSC as the recipient of the inaugural Horizon Award (Large Center). This award recognizes overall excellence in operations, practices, programs, technology and innovations. It acknowledges the efforts of communications centers that have proactively assessed and met the technological and operational needs of their center, employees and service population. There are approximately 6,100 9-1-1 centers in the U.S.

Also at the conference, DPSC Director Steve Souder was recognized as the 2009 9-1-1 Public Safety Communications Center Director of the Year. This award recognizes individuals nominated from throughout the nation for their exceptional performance and contributions to the field of 9-1-1 public safety communications, including achievements, depth of knowledge, innovative thinking, involvement and years of service to public safety, as well as other key criteria. Winners are selected by a panel of judges from the public safety industry.

DPSC handles more than 1 million calls per year. It is accredited by the commonwealth of Virginia. DPSC employees are certified as emergency medical dispatchers who routinely provide lifesaving instructions to callers for patients needing CPR, who are choking or giving birth, while other dispatchers simultaneously dispatch units to the scene.

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