Orange County Insight June 2022

Orange County Staff Earn Awards at Virginia Association of Public - Safety Communications Officials Conference

By: Holly Williams, Communications Supervisor, Orange County Emergency Communications

In May, members of the Orange County Emergency Communications team traveled to Virginia Beach for the Spring NENA/APCO Conference. This year ’ s conference had the largest number of attendees ever! During a conference luncheon, the 2021 APCO Award winners were announced and celebrated for their achievements. Orange County was the recipient of two of the awards! Cole Shifflett, Radio Systems Manager for Orange County, was awarded the 2021 Information Technologist of the Year award. Cole was chosen among the entries for his dedication to seeing the new public safety building come to life with the addition of several new systems, including the state - of - the - art P25 L3 Harris Radio

Jeremy Cole (right) receives his award.

System. This new radio system allows better coverage for first responders throughout Orange County. Cole worked tirelessly to fix the systems, which included radio consoles for the new dispatch center, mobile and portable radios in the patrol cars and fire & rescue vehicles, as well as the mobile app for the radio, which allows units to communicate on the radio system from their phones when out of the county. Cole was deserving of this award for how well he managed the systems, and for bringing everything online at the opening of our new Public - Safety Building.

Jeremy Brown, a Communications Supervisor with the Orange County Emergency Communications Center was the recipient of the 2021 Nicholas Stepaniak Trainer of the Year award. This award is named in memory of Nicholas Stepaniak who was an Assistant Director for Stafford County that lost a brave battle to cancer. Despite the diagnosis, Nick showed up each day to make sure his team was trained adequately and had the resources needed to do the job. Nick was caring, passionate, and dedicated. Jeremy was chosen for displaying the same qualities that Nick embodied. Jeremy has been with Orange County Emergency Communications Center (ECC) for about two and a half years, working through the ranks and embracing the necessary training required of a 9 - 1 - 1 dispatcher. As a trainer, Jeremy is extremely patient with new hires, taking the time to

Brandy Stepaniak visits with Jeremy Brown at the Public Safety Building Open House.

show them the processes and make sure they understand. Recently, Jeremy took a new hire from another agency and helped rebuild her confidence in herself and her ability to do the job. Jeremy is dedicated. He has not missed a single day since he started in 2019, ensuring trainees never had to go without him on a shift. To make this award a little sweeter, Brandy Stepaniak, widow of Nick, came to the Public Safety Building Open House to meet Jeremy. She was thrilled to hear how similar Jeremy was and learn about his dedication to training new hires.

Orange County Staff earn APCO awards. Pictured L to R: C. Cord, J. Brown, C. Shifflett, H. Williams

Both Cole and Jeremy were very deserving recipients this year. Please congratulate them on this amazing accomplishment. On hand to cheer them on when receiving these awards were Chris Cord, Director of the Emergency Communications Center and Holly Williams, Communications Supervisor of the Emergency Communications Center.

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