Poughkeepsie, NY… The Dutchess County Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Council recognized EMS providers, EMS agencies and local hospital staff on Wednesday, June 22nd, at the American Legion Post 429, located at 6361 Mill Street in Rhinebeck. The annual awards highlight the important role of first responders and the services they provide to the community. Erin Downing, Public Safety Call Taker at the Dutchess County Department of Emergency Response 9-1-1 Call Center, was honored with the EMS Communications Specialist of the Year Award, which is given to an individual who has made significant contributions to the EMS community as a call receiving operator, dispatcher or call taker and has shown dedication, responsibility, professional behavior, and skill during communications.
Dutchess County 9-1-1 Public Safety Call Taker Erin Downing, left, was recognized as the EMS Communications Specialist of the Year at the 2022 Dutchess County Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Awards. Erin received the award from Chair of the EMS Council Chrissy Eighmy.
Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro said, “Congratulations to this year’s award recipients, especially our own, Erin Downing. Her professionalism, calm demeanor and compassion have helped numerous residents feel safer, calmer, and more in control during a very stressful time. The brave men and women who serve as first responders cannot be recognized often enough; we are grateful for their dedication to their community and Dutchess County.”
In her role as a Public Safety Call Taker with Dutchess County, which she began in February 2021, Ms. Downing has taken numerous calls for individuals or whose family members were experiencing significant medical emergencies requiring her to talk the caller through administering CPR. Ms. Downing handled these sensitive calls with compassion, empathy and professionalism, remaining calm under pressure and providing essential information to her fellow dispatchers in a timely manner. She has also worked as a public safety dispatcher with a local police agency since 2019.
Dutchess County Director of 9-1-1 Timothy Darcy said, “Despite her relatively short career, Erin handles every call with a consistent level of calm professionalism. Whether accidental 9-1-1 calls or serious issues, Erin ensures responders have all available information about the caller and the emergency and she makes sure the caller has been given appropriate instructions and reassurance before responders arrive on the scene.”
Dutchess County Commissioner of Emergency Response Dana Smith said, “We are proud to celebrate the achievements of our EMS providers, agencies and hospital staff. 9-1-1 Call Takers are often the first to come in contact with someone experiencing an emergency and are the behind-the-scenes heroes, using their skill and training to help keep callers calm and reassured while informing on-scene responders. Ms. Downing has been a valuable addition to the team at Dutchess County 9-1-1 and is a fantastic example of the kind of difference these call takers can make in people’s lives every day. Congratulations to Erin and all this year’s honorees; we are grateful for the dedication and excellence you provide to our residents every day.”
This year’s recipients of the Dutchess County EMS Council Awards include:
Basic Life Support Provider of the Year
Fairview Fire District
Advanced Life Support Provider of the Year
Lagrange Fire District
EMS Agency of the Year
Lagrange Fire District
Harriet C. Weber EMS Leadership Award
Arlington Fire District
EMS Communications Specialist of the Year
Dutchess County Department of Emergency Response
Physician of Excellence
Elie Dancour, MD