Emergency dispatchers recognized for their help in 2017

Barrie fire dispatcher Justin Gilbert was only on the job for a few months when a fiery and deadly pileup happened on Highway 400.

“The fire chief of Bradford called on radio and I knew there was something else going on just in the tone of his voice. And then the 911 lines started going off. It was a ‘let’s go and get it done’ kind of thing,” Gilbert said.

He was honoured for his quick actions in aiding emergency responders during that crash. Nearly 50 dispatchers were recognized for their calm and compassionate responses in Simcoe County.

Ambar Kottick, a 911 dispatcher, received her third award today, this time for her leadership during a police chase up on Highway 400 and on to Highway 11 in June.

“This ends up being the officer that was actually involved and was being shot at, at that precise second. I hear the gunshots go off, and I’m like ‘what’s happened?’” Kottick recalled.

That dramatic police chase ended after the suspect swerved to avoid a spike belt.

South Simcoe Police got a nod for helping a man whose kayak overturned on Lake Simcoe in November.

“It’s pretty rewarding and it’s fun. It’s fun to be in a crisis situation and to be able to do what you can for people,” says dispatcher Heather Gowlik.



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