Local 911 dispatchers received recognition Thursday night at the fifth-annual Texoma Regional 911 Telecommunicators Awards Banquet, hosted by the Texoma Council of Governments.

Local 911 dispatchers received recognition Thursday night at the fifth-annual Texoma Regional 911 Telecommunicators Awards Banquet, hosted by the Texoma Council of Governments.


About 85 dispatchers, public safety workers and their families attended the event. Awards were presented to dispatchers from Grayson, Fannin and Cooke counties.


"Dispatchers are a necessary part of public safety, and they’re often overlooked," said C.J. Durbin-Higgins, TCOG’s Public Safety Program Manager. "In many people’s eyes, they are the first reponders."


Perhaps the most poignant aspect of the ceremony was remembering Sherman Dispatch Supervisor Cindy Carr, who died on Oct. 27 of pancreatic cancer. Carr was posthumously honored with the "Supervisor of the Year" award on Thursday, however she was able to receive the honor and a certificate during a private ceremony on Oct. 22 in her hospital room. Her family accepted the award on her behalf at the banquet, Durbin-Higgins said.


To receive the Supervisor of the Year honor, the recipient must have "consistent demonstration of exceptional knowledge and skill in the management of staff in a public safety agency," Durbin-Higgins said.


TCOG also gave a "Silent Key of Remembrance" to the Sherman Police Department in honor of Carr. The accompanying certificate read, "I suspect she is in heaven dispatching angels to watch over us now."


Sherman Police Chief Otis Henry said receiving the Silent Key of Remembrance was an honor but also a sad event. The Sherman PD will soon be renaming their "Civilian of the Year Award" to honor Carr.


"We’re going to miss her," Henry said. "She had a bright smile and a warm heart."


In another part of the ceremony, 16 dispatchers received the "silent hero award," which recognizes dispatchers "whose daily performance is an inspiration to others." Three dispatchers received the "life saving award" for handling calls in which the direct result of the dispatcher’s actions prevented the loss of the life.


The "team award of merit," which goes to two or more telecommunicators who handled a 911 emergency that involved the coordination of multiple public safety responses, went to two dispatchers at the Whitesboro Police Department.


Altogether, organizers considered the banquet to be a success.


"Showing appreciation to the professionals that are answering 911 calls (24 hours a day, seven days a week), 365 days a year is recognition they greatly deserved," Durbin-Higgins said.