MONCKS CORNER, S.C. – (Thursday, October 13, 2022) – Berkeley County 911 Communications received multiple state-level awards this month at the Annual Fall Conference for theSouth Carolina Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials (APCO) & National Emergency Number Association (NENA) Boards.
- Berkeley County 911 was named Team of the Year for their work in fielding calls and dispatching first responder agencies to a fiery crash August 4 in the rural part of the County. The incident involved a tour bus and multiple passenger vehicles. As the nature of calls about the incident worsened over time, dispatchers followed standard protocols and each of the disciplines in the 911 Center dispatched their first alarm assignments. However, as more information flowed in, it became apparent that a normal first alarm would not be sufficient. EMS eventually called for mutual aid from neighboring counties and requested two medical evacuation helicopters; also, all on-duty officers called local hospitals for bed counts. In total, the crash spanned more than a quarter mile and impacted 60 people. In an unrelated incident at the scene, a local firefighter suffered a nearly-fatal heart attack, forcing the on-scene Command Post to divert attention from managing the crash to saving the life of the firefighter, who was successfully transported to a hospital and survived. During the cardiac incident, the crash scene did not stop. In total, the Berkeley County 911 team assisted in delivering service to 60-plus patients at the scene and facilitating resources from three counties, one state agency, five fire departments, and two medical helicopters.
- Nick Madray, a Project Manager for Berkeley County Information Technology Department, was named SC 911 Technician of the Year for his work withmultiple public safety applications that support different Berkeley County Emergency Services—from 911 and EMS to the Detention Center and Berkeley County Sheriff’s Office. In his role over the last year, Nick has aided the 911 Dispatch Center by working on hundreds of tickets for dispatchers and ensuring the Computer-Aided Dispatch (CAD) system had no unplanned downtime. He additionally volunteered this year to assist the City of Hanahan with implementing its new CAD and MDT emergency response software system, helping the City meet its “Go Live” timelines. With this project, Nick spent many hours with Hanahan Police Department working on response plans, building units, and learning how to use the new system. Nick was also the Project Manager for the MDT rollout for the more than 20 different fire departments located across Berkeley County. He scheduled and supervised the installation of more than 200 Cradle Points in fire apparatus, ensured all correct users were built, and that units were correctly mapped in the CAD system.
- Dispatcher Rachel Wadford received the SC Telecommunicator of the Year award for helping save the life of a Kansas-based teen believed to have taken pills with the intent to harm himself. Rachel received the call in May from a caller based in South Carolina. Because the caller did not have an address for the teen, Rachel worked through the night to utilize every tool available to locate the teen and report the emergency to local Kansas authorities. After finding the teen’s possible address and phone number, Rachel alerted nearby police. A Captain with the agency later called to confirm the teen had been located and taken to a hospital for life-saving treatment.
- Peggy Brown, who serves as one of the Administrative Support Specialists for 911, received the Palmetto Award for her work in completing a large-scale evidence preservation project, which included capturing all the radio transmissions and CAD logs for a Sheriff’s Office deputy across 12 total shifts. Brown spent countless hours listening to audio, pulling the deputy’s transmissions, and redacting his 50-plus calls for service. Additionally, Peggy assisted in developing and refining the 911 departmental budget.
“Berkeley County 911 employs some of the top dispatchers and IT experts in the career field, and these awards are well-deserved. Dispatchers fill a vital role in our communities—displaying unprecedented strength, compassion, and composure in critical situations. I am honored to lead this hardworking team and watch them selflessly serve the people of Berkeley County.” – Sam Gaither, Berkeley County 911 Communications Chief
-Prepared by the Berkeley County Public Information Office-