As we approach the end of National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week, I want to recognize our awesome team of dispatchers. The Sublette County Sheriff’s Office Communications team consists of 9 dispatchers, (pictured from left to right and top to bottom) are Sheriff KC Lehr, Devon Moceika, Cheryl Koessel, Sarah Turner, Jessica Murphy, Layna Jones, Natalie Strong, AmberLynn Porterfield, Sammi Morgan and not pictured Emery Kemp. Cheryl Koessel is our lead dispatcher. Cheryl has been dispatching for the Sublette County Sheriff’s Office since 2003. Prior to coming to Sublette County, Cheryl was a dispatcher in Hanna, Wyoming for seven years. She quickly promoted to lead dispatcher and has maintained that leadership role ever since. Cheryl has been instrumental in implementing Emergency Medical Dispatch (EMD) and Emergency Fire Dispatch (EFD) in our county. Sublette County is one of the few dispatch centers in the State that is certified in both and this is not an easy task.
The communications team dispatches for Fire, Law, EMS, in the county, and assists the Town of Pinedale, and Wyoming Highway Patrol when their system is down. We try and have at least two dispatchers on duty at any given time; however, there are occasions when there is only one dispatcher for the entire county.
All of our dispatchers are certified in EMD and EFD. This means that all incoming 911 calls are queued and rated on how that individual dispatcher handles the emergency. The dispatcher is then provided feedback on ways they can improve on their 911 call-taking skills. As well, each dispatcher receives a rating based out of 100% on the calls they receive.
This year each of our dispatchers along with our communications center was added to the 911 tree of life. Anyone can nominate a dispatcher or center to be added to this website recognizing the top professionals from across the country. Visit the 911 Tree of life at https://911treeoflife.org/.
Each one of our dispatchers is invaluable in the job they do. We would like to recognize a few who will be receiving Life Saving awards today.
Sarah Turner has been a dispatcher for the Sublette County Sheriff’s Office for the past 14 years. Sarah is a trainer and also one of the queuers for EMD. Sarah has also been our top-ranking call taker since 2016 for EMD and EFD, averaging 99% on all of her calls.
Sarah received a 911 call of a 29-year-old female who was 8 months pregnant and unresponsive. Sarah immediately began giving EMD instructions using the card set. With the instructions provided by Sarah, the patient regained consciousness and began responding with the caller. Ivan Whitaker, EMD Project Manager, and Bill Kluck, EMS Director, both stated that the patient and baby are alive today because of the instructions provided by Sarah.
Sarah also received a 911 call of a 50-year-old female unconscious and not breathing at the Best Western Hotel lobby. Sarah began CPR instructions over the phone and the patient became responsive prior to the arrival of EMS. That patient is alive today because of Sarah’s quick response.
Amberlynn Porterfield was hired by the Sublette County Sheriff’s Office in 2014. Amberlynn is a queuer for EMD and EFD, as well as one of our trainers.
Amberlynn received a 911 call of a 62-year-old male slumped over, unresponsive, and not breathing. Amberlynn immediately started CPR instruction over the phone until EMS responders arrived on scene. The patient was taken to the clinic where he was then life-flighted and ended up making a full recovery.
Layna Jones came to us in 2021 and has been working as a dispatcher for the past two years.
Layna received a 911 call from a caller stating his 52-year-old wife was unresponsive in the bathtub. Layna instructed the caller to drain the water from the bathtub and gave instructions on how to get her flat on her back while still in the tub. Once the caller was able to do this Layna immediately began CPR instructions until first responders arrived to take over. EMS transported the patient to the clinic where she was life-flighted. The patient made a full recovery.
It is with great pride and honor that I get to recognize all or our communications officers, today, for the job they do every day. Thank you to all the dispatchers, past and present, across this nation, for keeping our first responders safe, and answering the publics call in times of crisis.