2006 Activations


Due to the age of these activations, we strongly recommend checking with the agency or contact person prior to taking any action.

  • 12/16/06 ST. JOSEPH (MI) DISPATCHER'S DAUGHTER NEEDS OUR PRAYERS!  UPDATE!
    12/03/06 Original Activation:   
    Our coworker, Tracy Monroe found out that her 17-month-old daughter, Marissa, has stage 4 cancer. They have diagnosed her with a neuroblastoma.  It has also spread to her bone marrow. Tracy is a wonderful coworker and has very little sick time left due to time she has used to care for her daughter.  She also has a 4-year old daughter, Makenzie. At this time we are asking for prayers and cards of support.  We ask that fellow dispatch professionals send cards, letters, small gifts or donations to our dispatch center:  St Joseph Co 911, 620 E Main, Centreville, MI 49032.  
    Candace Scott   
    12-16-2006 Update:  
    ​Marissa falls into the high risk category which is much harder to treat. She will undergo a total of 7 rounds of chemo, stem cell rescue, radiation, followed by 6 months of retnoic acid. The total time for treatment will be about 18 months.  Our other daughter, Makenzie, is doing well, I don't really think that she understands exactly what is going on. I would like to thank everyone for the e-mails & their thoughts & prayers. Please continue to keep us in your prayers, as we will have a very long road to travel to recovery.   It was quite a shock finding out about her cancer. She had a black eye for 4 weeks so my husband took her to the doctor's & they just said it didn't appear to be fractured & sent them home. 2 wks later, she still had her black eye, so I took her & saw a different doctor & he knew that a black eye, also called "racoon eyes", is a symptom of Neuroblastoma.   We are also keeping an up to date
    journal.  Thank you and 911 CARES for everything they have done!   Tracy Monroe, 911 dispatcher, St Joseph County, MI 
  • 12/06/06:  PAULA MacDONALD, MIDDLETON (OH).  SUPPORT NEEDED
    ​Paula MacDonald has been a dispatcher in Middletown, Ohio since 1999. She is an awesome dispatcher and is loved by everyone here. She has even won Dispatcher of the Year for our department in the past. Her husband has serious kidney disease for quite some time. He was working until the doctor told him that he needed to quit work, it was just too much for him.  Paula is the only income and they have two young children, ages 11 and 10 months. But there's a twist!  Paula's husband, Gar, was told he would need a new kidney.  After several weeks of searching and testing for a new kidney, it was found that Paula was the only match.  She gave him her kidney on January 2nd. They will both be down for quite a while, unable to lift anything including their baby, no standing etc.  I cannot imagine trying to take care of two very sick people and two small children without help. Myself and another dispatcher are coming up with ways to help. Teri Gibson, one of my dispatchers, has gotten a schedule together for food to be made and dropped off for every day of the week and I'm working on the money end of this since they have one income and two house payments.  Any and all help is appreciated in these trying times for them, especially with Christmas right around the corner. I can't think of anyone more deserving than Paula, she is the nicest, most genuine person here and I would love to make her life a little easier right now.  Cards, letters, prayers and donations are greatly appreciated. The address is:  Middletown Police Department, The MacDonald Family, Attn: Shelley Meehan, One Donham, Plaza Middletown, Ohio 45042.  Thank you, Shelley Meehan
  • 12/06/06:  LENA RAMOS, SOUTH BAY REGIONAL PCA, HAWTHORNE (CA) 
    ​Lena Ramos is a dispatcher and has worked for S.B.R.P.C.A. for the last 7 years. On 11/20/06, Lena was the victim of a serious automobile accident where several people were critically injured. Tragically, Lena’s best friend did not survive the accident. Lena suffered broken ribs, a cracked sternum and a severely broken left leg which has required surgery to insert pins and rods. Lena is looking at a lengthy recovery period. To make matters worse, Lena is supporting her mother who has recently been diagnosed with kidney cancer and is awaiting surgery herself.  As you can imagine, with the holidays approaching, the uncertainty of her mother’s health, the passing of her friend and her own medical condition, this will be a tough and trying time of the year. It will also be a huge financial burden.   All of us at South Bay Communications are reaching out to our fellow communications operators and supervisors for any assistance that can be offered to assist Lena. Be it with the financial burden or to send cards, letters, gifts or prayer to help lift the spirits of Lena and her family during this difficult time.  Donations can be made through 
    911Cares directly to donate.  Cards and letters can be sent to:  Lena Ramos, c/o South Bay Communications, 4440 W. Broadway, Hawthorne, CA 90250.  Anyone with questions can feel free to contact Janey Hall.                       
  • 12/03/06:  JOHN REHLBERG, WESTBROOK (CT) DISPATCHER.  SUPPORT NEEDED  
    One of our co-workers, John Rehberg, was recently diagnosed with Stage 2 Rectal Cancer. He   underwent radical surgery on November 3, 2006 to remove the tumor.  He will undergo chemotherapy treatments for approximately 4 months post surgery.  John has been a Volunteer Firefighter and EMT as well as a 911 dispatcher for 20+ years. He is married to his wife Linda, and is a father of 4 children (Jordan-15, Emma-12,and twins Garrett and Daniel-10.  We are seeking donations from individuals and organizations to assist John and his family in this time of need. We at Valley Shore Emergency Communications and the Old Saybrook and Westbrook Fire Departments greatly appreciate any and all of your assistance in this endeavor.  For more information, please feel free to contact the following:  Valley Shore Emergency Communications, Inc., 315 Spencer Plains Rd. - P.O. Box 497, State Police Troop F, Westbrook, CT 06498 or email:
    Steve Czenthe-911 Dispatcher.  Cards/Donations can be sent/made out to the "John Rehberg Benefit Fund", c/o Valley Shore Emergency Communications, Inc., P.O. Box 497, Westbrook, CT 06498
  • 11/30/06:  SHERRY GLASS, TIPTON COUNTY (TN) DISPATCHER LOSES HOME IN FIRE.  HELP NEEDED! 
    ​At around 1020 am on 11-29-06, a neighbor called in reporting heavy smoke coming from Sherry's house.  Though the fire was extinguished, it was a total structural loss of the house and contents. The ONLY clothes they were able to recover was one load of laundry that was in the washing machine.  Sherry and her husband have three beautiful teen/pre-teen daughters, and with Christmas quickly approaching, we want to come together and help Sherry and her family's recovery. We are requesting that people send the family clothes, gifts, WAL-MART gift cards or anything a family might need to start their recovery.  Sherry is a hard-working member of our dispatch team here. She is always the one to say that "No matter how dysfunctional we are, we are all a family and we love each other."  We are always taking care of everyone else, now its time for us here at Tipton County to take care of one of our own.  Send questions or offers to Crystal’s attention, she will coordinate local efforts.  Tipton County Central Dispatch, 220 Hwy 51 N Suite 4, Covington, TN 38019

  • 11/27/06 ABBY MILANI, WILLIAMSON COUNTY (IL) DISPATCH.  UPDATE! 
    Original Activation:  
    Shawn Milani is a dispatcher in Williamson County, Illinois. May 23th his mother was laid to rest after losing her battle with Cancer.  At approx. 03:00 hours this morning (May 24th), we received a call from Shawn's father. He advised us that Abby Milani (Shawn’s 2-year-old daughter) was in a tent which caught fire.  A branch fell on a citronella candle in, that in turn started a grassfire that caught Abby’s camping tent on fire.  She has extensive burns, was flown to St. Louis Children's Hospital, treated and transferred to a burn center in Ohio. She has 3rd degree burns on 25% of her body and numerous 2nd degree burns. Burns include 2nd and 3rd degree burns on her entire left side, including her face.  Emergency surgery has been done to restore the circulation to her left hand. Many more surgeries and battles are to follow.  This 911CARES activation is for prayers, cards or letters of support and financial assistance. Though insurance will cover standard care, there are huge associated costs of hospital transfers, specialized treatments, co-payments and travel expenses and family lodging costs in Ohio. For additional information, contact Shawn’s co-worker
    Adam.  Cards and letters for the dispatch center or family can be sent to:  Adam Compton, Herrin PD, 321 North 14th Street. Herrin, IL 62948.
    06/02/06 Update:  
    I was contacted by Shawn Milani's Brother John, with an idea that we think is wonderful. As Abby battles her horrible burns, we look to the future. John thought it would be nice to start a memory book to let Abby know about all the good people who have helped her, weather it was monetarily or with words of encouragement and prayer.  Due to Abby's young age, I think this is a FANTASTIC idea.  I hope agencies send both a patch and a picture of their team.  When she becomes a young woman, and even has children of her own, I am sure that she will cherish whatever her Uncle John does for her with these department patches and pictures.  I would like to convey my thanks to everyone who has responded to the activation.  You have no idea how much it has meant to Shawn.  I have even spoken to some local Dispatchers and TC's where Shawn is staying. They have taken the time to visit him, and offered every comfort of home.  Thanks, Adam
    09/26/06 Update:  
    We are happy to say that we raised over $1,600 dollars for Abby's fund in three days of classes including a $500 donation from 911CARES.  On a side note, Abby turned 3 years old today. Though she is still hospitalized receiving care, she was able to get "sprung" by her parents and family for a quick visit to see Chucky Cheese! Once students in the classes mentioned above learned that it was Abby's birthday week, they were generous enough to buy some gifts that Abby opened on her Birthday! 

  • 09/25/06:  DAWN REESE, REDCOM, SONOMA COUNTY (CA).  UPDATE! 
    Original activation:  
    Dawn Reese is a dispatcher with REDCOM, the county wide Fire/EMS dispatch center for Sonoma County.  Dawn has worked for AMR since 1991 and started with REDCOM when it was formed in 2003.  She is the wife of a Fireman and the mother to two beautiful children, Taylor and Daniel.  Dawn was recently diagnosed with non Hodgkin’s lymphoma and is undergoing chemotherapy.   She will also need radiation, but due to the location of cancer in her mouth will require extensive dental work to prepare for her treatments. Although Dawn’s insurance has covered most of her treatment, there is a cap on her dental coverage which has already been exhausted.  I am reaching out to my fellow dispatchers to ease the financial burden of this illness and lift her spirits with this show of support.   Please keep Dawn in your thoughts and prayers as she tackles this disease.  Cards and letters of support can be sent to:  Dawn Reese, 638 Claudius Way, Windsor, CA  95492.  Anyone with questions can contact me:  Kelli James, Santa Rosa Police Dispatch, 965 Sonoma Ave, Santa Rosa, CA  95404
    ​09/25/06 Update from Dawn:  
    ​First of all, I want to thank everyone for the donations that were sent in.  They lifted the financial burden allowing us to continue living without giving everything up. I completed the 17 hours of dental work in a four day period, then started radiation the following week.  I had 18 treatments of head & neck radiation which became almost unbearable.  About 1/2 way through the treatments I was going to quit and give up.  The same wonderful people who donated and send prayers and cards kept me going.  One of my co-workers arranged to have meals sent to my home everyday for 2 weeks until the completion of my treatments. Thank you to everyone to made me finish!!   Although I am still in some discomfort that should get better with time.  From the bottom of my heart I thank you 911-Cares and everyone for everything you have done to make our lives a little better!   Thank you again, Dawn, The Reeses 

  • 09/16/06:  KARI DENSLOW, ISABELLA COUNTY (MI).  TRAGIC PASSING OF A DISPATCHER 
    ​Kari Denslow, 53, worked for Central Dispatch since the inception of Isabella County 9-1-1.  Prior to that she worked for the sheriff's department as a dispatcher.  She dedicated over 20 years of her life to the residents of Isabella County.  Kari was instrumental in the LEIN program and served as the LEIN TAC her entire career.  She was a Communications Trainer, assisted with the development of the policy and procedures and served as a mentor to many of her co-workers.  She was recognized on several occasions for outstanding performance.  She was recognized by Michigan APCO in 2004 for her assistance during the triple homicide.  Kari was well respected by the agencies we support and the community.   Kari's untimely death has left a large hole in our family.  Her co-workers have stayed in close contact with her this last year as she struggled with lung cancer.  They volunteered to take her to her appointments, helped her with household chores and made sure she had plenty of hats to wear.  Kari was forced to take a medical retirement.  On her last day she came in special to put out the Fire Test Page to say goodbye to the responders she had worked with so many years.  The dispatcher's are pulling together and are doing ok.   Kari was married to Detective/Sgt. Dan Denslow from the Isabella County Sheriff's Department.  She has one daughter, three step-children and five grandchildren.  Her father was the Sheriff of Isabella County for several years he proceeded in her in death in 2005.  Kari loved her work, family and her beautiful garden. She spent many hours tending to her plants and flowers just as she tended to her friends and her community. Kari will be missed by many.  The county has surely lost a great person.  
    Robert Jerman, Supervisor, Isabella County Central Dispatch, 2010 E Preston Street, Mt Pleasant, MI 48858
  • 09/05/06:  BROOME COUNTY (NY) DISPATCHERS LOSE HOMES IN FLOODS.  UPDATE!  
    Original Activation 07/01/06:  ​
    We had a total of 6 of our co-workers directly affected by floodwaters, including 3 who lost almost everything that they owned.  Our staff stayed and worked through the ordeal. Once things started to calm down, we realized the losses encountered by our own staff. The affected dispatchers include:
    Wendy Badia – A dispatcher with five years of service, she lost all of her belongings to the flood and her residence experienced significant structural damage. Wendy is married and has a young son. 
    Theresa Kellar – With four and a half years experience, Theresa, her husband and daughter lost the majority of their furniture and appliances 
    Gary Lowe -- Another four and a half year veteran, Gary was at work when the flood waters ripped through his residence leaving him and his teenage daughter with pretty much only the clothes they were wearing.
    Sid Peake  -- Yet another four and a half year veteran, Sid, his wife and two daughters had their basement filled with water causing extensive damage to his appliances, furnace and belongings along with damage to his house.
    Bert String -- With seven years of service, Bert, his wife and three kids also lost most of their appliances, an extensive collection of antique furniture and a large variety of household goods.  
    Kenny Hayes -- Five and a half year dispatcher, Kenny Hayes was also at work during the floods, and returned home after an almost 15 hour shift to find extensive damage to the home he recently purchased.
    Justin Maciak -- Five and a half year employee, his home suffered major damage. The flood waters destroyed everything in the basement and on the first floor and may require the home to be demolished. Justin is married with one child and a second child is due any day now. 

    As dedicated professionals, all of the above placed the well being of the citizens that we serve above their personal needs and reported for duty as soon as they were evacuated from their residences.  Over the next week all put in many long, hard stressful hours even though they would much rather have been tending to their families. The staff of our center would greatly appreciate any assistance that could be provided to our co-workers in their time of need.  Sincerely -
    James C Pandich.   Broome County 911 Center - Public Safety Facility, c/o Brett Chellis, 153 Lt. VanWinkle Drive, Binghamton, NY 13905-1559
    08/21/06 Update:  ​ 
    I wanted to update you on the situation with our dispatchers, but first and foremost I wanted to thank you and all of the members of this group for the incredible support that was shown for our friends and co-workers that were flooded out in our recent disaster.  We have received clothing, household goods, books and toys for the kids, and numerous monetary donations for all over the country.  This support has helped many of them get back on their feet and return to a somewhat normal life.   As for our group, just a quick update:  Wendy, Bert and Sid have all been able to return to their homes after extensive cleaning and repair work.  Gary and Theresa, who rented their homes, have both found new houses and have begun to settle in to them.  Kenny has settled into a camper while the fate of his home is decided by code enforcement.  Justin and his wife had their second child arrive days after the flood, and the family of four has settled into a FEMA provided temporary housing unit while they build a new home in a location out of the flood zone.  Their family was featured recently in a story in our local newspaper.  If anyone is interested in reading it they can find it here: Family weathers upheaval.  Thank you again for all of your support.  We were amazed by support that was shown to our friends and their families by 911 CARES. We are both proud and humbled to be a part of such a close knit and caring community.  Thanks again!The Broome County 911 Center
    ​09/05/06 Update:
     Just wanted to drop you a quick note and let you know that we just received 5 beautiful quilts from Jean Kester from Avondale AZ.  She made these quilts for five children of our dispatchers affected by flooding in June and July of this year that the members of your group have shown such generous support to. Once again we would like to thank you and everyone involved for the support, kindness and generosity that all of you have shown.   God Bless!   Jim Pandich and the  Broome County NY 911 Center 

  • 09/04/06:  JEFFREY FELDICK, WOOD COUNTY (IA) COMMUNICATIONS.  TRAGIC PASSING  
    ​Jeffrey Feldick died unexpectedly this morning.  Jeff has been an operator with Woodbury County for 15 years and previously worked in Buena Vista County.  Jeff was just 46 years young.  Jeff has been a loyal supporter of APCO and a fixture at the conferences for many years.  He has many friends in communications from across the state and across the nation.  It has been an extremely difficult day as our operators handled the 911 call giving CPR instructions knowing we were sending help to Jeff's house.  Everyone involved in the call knew Jeff from the officers that arrived first on scene to the fireman and paramedics.  Please keep our staff in your thoughts and prayers.  Wendi Hess, Communications Operations Supervisor, Woodbury County Communications

  • 08/2006:  TAYLOR THOMAN, VECC 911, SALT LAKE CITY (UT) REGION.  SUPPORT NEEDED.  UPDATE! 
    Original Activation January 2006:  
    We have an employee named Diana Thoman that has worked for the Center for nearly 15 years. Her husband, Chuck, is a Sandy Police Officer. Last March, Diana gave birth to darling twins – a boy named Kyle & a girl named Taylor. Within a few months, they found out that Kyle had cystic fibrosis.  Of course that requires a lot of doctor visits, training for them to provide Kyle's care, etc. They were just getting all that figured out when the next challenge was discovered.  Their beautiful little daughter, Taylor, was diagnosed with retinoblastoma. We know that the cancer is limited to the tumors & has not invaded her brain or spinal cord. Children's Hospital of Los Angeles is the closest facility that provides the cutting-edge treatment that Taylor needs. The Thomans must travel there from Utah every three weeks for chemo. After six chemo treatments, they will still need to travel to LA for follow-up exams under anesthesia every three weeks, for the next two years, to make sure that the tumors are not recurring.  They have been able to utilize Angel Flights & the Ronald McDonald house, but as you can imagine, that is just the tip of the iceberg financially. I am hoping that you will be able to rally financial help and support for the Thomans.”   Any assistance you are able to provide would be very much appreciated by Diana, Chuck, and most of all, Taylor.   Donations can be mailed to the following address. Please make checks payable to Diana and Charles Thoman, Salt Lake Valley Emergency Communications Center (VECC), 5360 South Ridge Village Drive, West Valley City , Utah 84118, ATTN: Manager Geana Randall.
    June 2006 Update:  ​
    I want to say thank you from our entire family, every bit of financial support helps with our travels & expenses.   I will definitely be sending thank you's to the people & agencies that donated.  Thanks for the teddy bears too - both kids love them!   We just finished the last round of chemo, wahoo!!!!!!!!!!  Anyway, thanks again!
  • 08/27/06:  MATT BUMPUS, AUBURN PD/PLACER COUNTY (CA).  HELP NEEDED  
    ​Auburn PD Dispatcher Laura Bumpas and Placer County Sheriff's Deputy Bob Bumpas are in the fight of their lives trying to save their son Matt who is battling Leukemia.  Matt has Acute Myelogenous Leukemia (AML), which is an extemely aggressive form of leukemia.  It is fequently caused by chemical exposures (specifically Benzene & radiation).  Matt served in the Army in Iraq and guarded chemical spills and sites.  He has under gone his 1st round of chemo and unfortunately his blood/plasma levels are decreasing.  His wife is due with their 2nd child in Nov.  We will be holding a blood drive and dessert social in Auburn Thursday Sept 14, 2006.   Thank you, Jane Jimenez, Communication Supervisor, Placer County Sheriff  

  • 08/26/06:  WALTER "WALLY" NUTTING, WAYLAND, MA.  SUPPORT NEEDED.  UPDATE!
    ​Original Activation:  
    Walter "Wally" Nutting has worked for the Town of Wayland MA Joint Communications Center since 1982. Shortly after Christmas Day, 2005, Walter was stricken ill at his home and was transported by ambulance to a local hospital. It was determined at that he had suffered from a severe diabetic episode and complications caused by this.  Wally was admitted to the Intensive Care Unit where he was stabilized, which took two weeks. Complications necessitated repeated tranfers between hospitals and rehabilitation center.  Wally has not walked since his initial hospital visit, and will require extensive therapy to do so again. There are also surgical procedures that will have to be done to resolve other medical issues, but, due to his current lack of strength, these have had to be postponed until such time as his body is better able to tolerate them.  Wally has a 13 Y.O. son, Ricky, who he raises during the week by himself. Ricky is very involved in gymnastics and spends his afternoons at the gym.  Wally spent all of his free time there with Ricky and has not been able to watch Ricky since his illness.  Despite all of this, Wally's spirits remain high.  All of us here in Wayland are concerned that Wally is not bouncing back as he should be.  The Police and Fire associations have helped to alleviate some of his personal bills but we did not anticipate the length of his illness. We have a small dispatch center of 7 people including Wally and his smile and presence is greatly missed around here. Your Thoughts, Prayers, and Donations or any assistance with Wallys situation would all be greatly appreciated.  Thank You in advance for your help!   Town of Wayland JCC Staff.  Cards, Donations can be sent to Wayland Police Dept, c/o Walter Nutting, 38 Cochituate Rd., Wayland, MA 01778 
    05/25/06 Update:
     Wally has arrived at home after many weeks of being in Hospitals and Rehabilitation Centers as Doctors, Nurses, and Therapists worked diligently to resolve his medical issues.  He is now able, with the aid of a walker, to move around his residence and climb up and down stairs.  He remains in very good spirits, and is most grateful to those folks from all over the country who have taken the time to express their concerns and best wishes through cards, letters,  personal visits, and telephone calls.  He is looking forward to sending a Thank-You note in response to all mail received, and was very moved by this outpouring of gratitude.  Thomas Turner, Dispatcher 
    08/26/06 Update:
    Back in January, my 9-1-1 partner, Tom Turner sent you a message informing you of my sickness. Bottom line; I'm a diabetic, had a bladder infection, blood sugars went crazy and I ended up in the ER on December 28, 2005. After many months of repairs I was released to my home on July 5, 2006. I returned to work at Wayland, MA Police, Fire, EMS on August 15, 2006.  NOW, the reason for this is to thank 911CARES and each and every one of you who sent me get well cards and checks from all over this great country. It's with enormous pride that I can say I'm a 911 dispatcher and work with wonderful collegues who really do care. My macho has been humbled by you and it's through tear filled eyes that I thank you from the bottom of my heart. You've changed my life forever. The brotherhood of Police officers, Firefighters and their dispatchers IS REAL. THANKS AGAIN!  Wally, Wayland Police 9-1-1

  • 08/03/06 SOTTOS FAMILY TRAGEDY.  SUPPORT NEEDED!
    A NOTE from 911 CARES:
    I have met all of the fine professionals at this dispatch center and this event has been a double tragedy for them. They lost one of their own Officers and he was married to one of their past dispatchers. Their center also was an integral part of the search for Sgt. Sottos for hours. Please don’t forget to send the center a card or note. Any donations can be made directly to the family via the addresses listed below. There is also an e-mail to send your condolences. 
    Activation:
    On Monday July 31, 2006 Debbie faced the loss of her husband, an 11 year veteran of the Moline Police Department, Sgt. Michael Sottos.  Sgt. Sottos had left the police department headquarters in his squad car around 2:30 p.m.   Around 3:30 p.m. Mike spoke to Debbie on the phone and told her that he was going to follow up on a sexual abuse investigation.  After he failed to come home,  and couldn't be reached by phone or police radio, Mike's personal vehicle was located in the department's parking lot and officers began to suspect foul play.  Sgt. Sottos was entered as a missing/endangered person at around 7:00 p.m. Officers from the Moline Police department and surrounding agencies began to search for him.  Sgt. Sottos was located by his fellow officers at approximately 11:00 p.m. with a self-inflicted gun shot wound.  Our agency, Mike's family and the entire public safety community is in total shock, no one saw this coming.  Mike was and will always be remembered as an amazing father, friend, brother, son, uncle and police officer.  He was always the calm in the middle of the storm.  He treated everyone with respect and was an an amazing human being.  Sgt Sottos leaves behind his wife Debbie and their 5 children, Logan 15 yoa, Seth 6 yoa, Grace 4 yoa, Claire 3 yoa, and Emma 1 yoa. They are also expecting their 6th child mid January 2007.  We cannot begin to imagine the impact that Mike's death will have on his family both emotionally and financially.  We are asking for prayers, cards and any monetary donations that you are able to give.  Every dollar makes a difference.  To learn more about Mike and his family, this link will take you to aweb-site created by his family.   Cards and letters of support can be sent to:  Debbie Sottos, c/o 911 Centre Communications, 1200 River Dr., Moline, IL.  61265.  Please make monetary donations payable to:  Mike Sottos Memorial Fund and mail to:  Amy Petersen, c/o 911 Centre Communications, 1200 River Dr., Moline, IL. 61265.  For any additional information that is needed, you may contact Amy Petersen
  • 07/05/06  JIMMY HARTLEY, ALAMEDA COUNTY (CA) REGIONAL ECC'S BENEFIT FOR DISPATCHERS BROTHER 
    On May 7th , my brother Jimmy Hartley suffered a massive stroke (the first of a series of strokes) and lay near death in a Modesto Hospital. His right cerebellum was completely obliterated, with damage spreading into the left cerebellum, brain stem and parietal area. To relieve pressure on the brain that surely would have killed him in a day or two, surgeons removed the portion of the cerebellum that had died. However, the clot itself that started it all was inoperable and remains a threat.  Numerous other procedures later, Jimmy has shown some progress but has many struggles ahead of him.  This crisis has left Jimmy, his wife, and son without a source of income. He recently started a new job, so medical insurance had not yet kicked in.  As you can imagine he has already amassed enormous medical and other bills that will continue to grow.  Jimmy has spent the last 20 years working as an installer and tech for Motorola and other wireless firms, installing and repairing MDT’s, radios, light bars, sirens and misc. emergency equipment for public safety agencies throughout the central valley and Nevada, but his first love is music. If you would kindly forward this to anyone who might be interested in helping Jimmy and his family, I’d be most grateful. Thank you for taking the time to read this.  Richard Hartley, 925-337-5622, Communications Supervisor/Alameda County Regional Emergency Communications Center
  • 06/30/06 MARGARET HAHN, LOUISVILLE, KY  
    ​Last week, we lost a 9-year veteran of our communications staff. Margaret ( Peggy) Hahn passed away after a long, hard fought battle with cancer. Peggy was loved by her shift mates as well as her family. One of her shift mates was by her side when she passed. This is the first loss of an active Communication Specialist in the 11 yrs that I have been here.  Peggy leaves behind a loving husband and 2 wonderful children as well as many friends and family to grieve her. We know that Peggy is in a better place now but the hurt is there and will be for a long time to come.  If there is a card or something that can be sent to the Communications Center letting the employees know that other Dispatchers are thinking about them in their time of need, I think that would mean a lot to them.  Thank you for all that your organization does on a daily basis and God Bless.  The address is:  Metro Safe Communications, 768 Barret Ave., Louisville, KY. 40204, c/o Doug Cohron.  Douglas B Cohron, Communications Supervisor / MetroSafe, Tactical Dispatch Team Leader
  • 06/26/06 MARGARET PARKER, SANTA CRUZ CONSOLIDATED ECC (CA)
    Margaret Parker has been a dispatcher with the Santa Cruz Consolidated Emergency Communications Center, since it formed 10 years ago.  Prior to that, she was a dispatcher with the City of Santa Cruz.  Margaret was recently promoted to Senior Dispatcher and shortly after discovered she had breast cancer.  Margaret underwent surgery and is currently receiving chemotherapy treatments, to be followed by radiation.  We expect she will be off work for at least 9 months.  Margaret is married, has a 5 year old son, 2 adult children and 2 grandchildren.  Her co-workers are helping her with meals, house cleaning, and general care.  What Margaret could certainly use is support.  Please keep her in your thoughts and prayers.  Cards and letters of support can be sent to:  Margaret Parker, 5070 Kingston Way, San Jose, CA.  95130.  Thank you for putting 9-1-1 CARES together for things like this.  Rosanna McKinney
  • 06/22/06 BETH BUHLKE, LARIMER COUNTY (CO) SHERIFF'S OFFICE 
    Early Wednesday, Feb 15, 2006, our newest dispatcher, Beth Buhlke, was on her way home from Fort Collins, Colorado to Loveland after working a midnight shift.  About a mile from her home, on a very icy roadway, a male driver lost control of his vehicle and hit Beth's car head-on.  Beth was extricated from the vehicle and rushed to Poudre Valley Hospital in Fort Collins with life-threatening injuries.  She sustained massive injuries to both legs (compound fracture to her left femur, two broken kneecaps, compound fracture to her right tibia, two broken ankles), broken right wrist, head trauma and a possible fracture in her neck.  She has not regained consciousness since the accident occurred.  She is a single mom with an 8 year old daughter and has her elderly parents living with her.  The Larimer County Sheriff's Office is doing everything possible to help her family during this difficult time.  Her family and LCSO would appreciate everyone's thoughts and prayers!  Thank you.  Diane Webber , Communications Manager 
  • 06/16/06 REBECCA BLUHN, BONNEVILLE COUNTY (ID) 911 CENTER. UPDATE!  
    From 911Cares:
    ​We hate to start with sad news but a dispatcher's daughter, who has been ill since the age of 9 passed away last night. Medical costs are covered by insurance but the funeral is not. We at 911 CARES will make a donation to the funeral fund and we ask that you do the same. PLEASE do it quickly so that the family can plan a respectful memorial and know that it is paid for. You can call our office with your VISA, Master Card or American Express card and we will FedEx the check to the family fund. Call us at 800-348-8911 x105.  We also encourage cards of condolence be sent to both Rebecca and the Bonneville County 9-1-1 Center, the address is listed below.  Thanks for your quick action – KEVIN and the 911 CARES Family
    From 911 CARES:
    The e-mail below was received last night, the e-mail below it was only a week ago. You can only imagine the sadness and sorrow that Rebecca and her co-workers are feeling.
    Kevin,  
    Just an update for you on the request we made on behalf of Rebecca Bluhm.  Bridgette passed away with her mother at her side at about 0630 on Feb 14th. Funeral arrangements are tentatively scheduled for 11:00 am Saturday Feb 18th at Bucks Funeral Home in Idaho Falls with internment to follow at the Ammon Cemetery.  Thank you very much, Barbara McCrorey, Bonneville County E-911 Center
    This e-mail was sent to us 1 week ago:
    We would like to tell you about a very special lady in our dispatch center who is need of some assistance. Her name is Rebecca Bluhm. Becky has an incredible daughter named Bridgette. When Bridgette was 9-years-old she was diagnosed with brain cancer. She went through surgery and chemotherapy at this very young age, and although developmentally challenged, Bridgette just celebrated her 30th birthday. This milestone is marred by the fact that she now has a rare and untreatable stomach cancer as well as mesotheleoma. There is nothing that can be done for her except to make her as comfortable as possible. She does not have long to live. At this time, Becky has used up all sick time as well as vacation time and even though she is using family medical leave, it is unpaid. All of Bridgette's medical bills are being covered but not the funeral expenses. We are trying to get her as much help as possible, and anything 911 cares could do, would be greatly appreciated.  If you have any questions please feel free to call 208-529-1200. Contact on day shift (0700-1500) will be Sherry Glick, afternoons (1500-2300)  Nancy Manwill and night shift (2300-0700) Cheri Severson or Barbara McCrorey.  Thank you for your consideration.
    Sincerely, 
    The staff of the Bonneville County E-911 Center, 911 N Skyline Dr., Idaho Falls, ID 83402​
  • 06/07/06 APRIL NEWCOME, CUMBERLAND COUNTY (TN) 9-1-1.  UPDATE! 
    We have a young 911 dispatcher, April Newcome, who is going through a very trying time right now. This last week she was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia. She is only 24-years-old, a wife, and the mother of three beautiful children. (1.5-year-old twins and a 4-year-old son) She's been an outstanding 911 Dispatcher in our Center for over three years now. Her professionalism, sense of caring, and delightful sense of humor have made it a pleasure and a true blessing to have her as part of our organization.  The Doctors are giving April a 50% chance for a successful recovery from her illness.  Whatever you can do would be gratefully appreciated. At this point, prayers are helpful. Hearing that she is being supported by others in chosen field can only be plus. April is currently at the Vanderbilt Medical Center, in Nashville, Tennessee, in their Cancer Treatment.  Send cards and gifts to: The Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center Patient April Newcome, Room 11026 691 Preston Building Nashville, TN 37232-6838.  If you need any additional information, or if there is anything else I can provide, please feel free to contact me.  Bill Hunter, 911 Director, Cumberland County 911, 42 Southbend Dr, Crossville, TN 38555 
  • 06/02/06 SCOTT PORTER, ST. FRANCOIS COUNTY JOINT COMMUNICATIONS CENTER.  TRAGIC DEATH
    On May 29, 2006 Scott Porter, a Communications Officer with the St. Francois County Joint Communications Center completed a 12-hour shift at 3 a.m. Scott had stayed over to help cover a shift.  While traveling home on his motorcycle, he struck a deer and did not survive his injuries.  The officers that worked the accident had been working with Scott previously on shift.  Scott was 27-years-old and leaves behind his wife, who is expecting their first child.  Scott is also the son of Washington County, Missouri's 9-1-1 Director Jim Porter.  Please remember Scott, his family, co-workers and friends in your thoughts and prayers.  For more information please contact Alan Wells, 9-1-1 Director for St Francois County at 573-431-7842.  Sincerely,  Michael L Kindle, Director, Macon County Enhanced 9-1-1, 1205 N. Missouri St., Macon, Mo.  63552
    06/02/06 Update: 
    A trust fund has been established for Scott's widow and unborn child.  We have learned that Scott did not have life insurance.  Donations to the Trust Fund may be sent to:  Scott & Brandy Porter Trust Fund, c/o Jim Porter, P.O. Box 176, Irondale, Mo.  63648
  • 05/25/06 RON ZIMMERMAN, FRANKLIN COUNTY (IN) 9-1-1.  TRAGIC DEATH
    Ron Zimmerman, 37, was a part time dispatcher for Franklin County 911 and was a former Brookville Police Officer.  He had left the Police Department to work overseas as an International Police Officer. His job was to train others in foreign countries police tactics.  Whenever he was home between assignments, Ron continued to keep a place as a part time emergency dispatcher at Franklin County 911.   Upon completion of his first tour in Kosovo, Ron returned to Franklin County to again dispatch.  Ron's life and passion was centered in Public Safety.  Over the years he had served as a Volunteer Firefighter, a member of Emergency Management, Jail Officer, Police Officer, and Emergency Dispatcher.  In March 2006, Ron returned overseas to his second assignment,Afganistan.  On Thursday, May 18th 2006, Ron was killed as his armored convoy patroled near Islam Qala.  A suicide bomber in a taxi loaded with explosives attacked the convoy.  We miss him very much. He was a friend to all and we will forever miss his humor and smile.  Ron leaves behind his wife, Marla and 3 children. Cheyenne,age 9; Mel,age 15; and Matt,age 12.  A Memorial Fund has been established for his children in his name. Contributions can be made to "Ron Zimmerman Memorial Fund" at FCN Bank, 501 Main Street, Brookville, IN 47012.  Notes and Condolences can be sent to:  Franklin County 911, 371 Main Street, Brookville IN 47012.  Marla Zimmerman 5155 S Beaver Rd Glenwood, IN 46133-9661.  Thank you, Tracy Lightfield, Assistant 911 Director
  • 05/20/06 KELLI JOHNSON, SPOKANE (WA).  SUPPORT NEEDED
    Original Activation:

    Kelli Johnson was in a serious motorcycle accident on I-90. Quite a few of the operators working at the time watched the aftermath of the accident on the state patrol cameras, and later found out that the rider was "one of ours". Kelli is 29-years-old and a great member of our team. We want to request that 911 CARES and her fellow brothers and sisters nationwide, help her.  Kelli has multiple injuries, including a shattered wrist, knee, and foot. She is facing multiple surgeries starting right away. Obviously this is overwhelming to her and she is going to need some help for quite a while. We have no idea when she'll be able to return to work.  Anyone with questions can contact me:  Rebecca Roedl.  There is a fund at our local Bank of America, under "Kelli Johnson Fund". Checks should be made to the Kelli Johnson fund and sent to our dispatch center (address below). We also welcome cards, gifts and well wishes. They can be sent to:  Kelli Johnson, Spokane County 911 Center, 1620 N Rebecca, Spokane, WA 99217
    05/20/06 Update:

    Kelli is at St. Lukes rehab and will be getting out in the next week or two, but is itchy to escape. No idea when she'll be able to return to work, but we know it will take 6mo to get a disability check. Wow! The things you learn in these situation, huh?!?!?!  Hope all is well, take care.

  • 05/10/06 DAVID GRIFFIN, MANATEE COUNTY (FL) COMMUNICATIONS.  UPDATE!
    ​Original Activation:
    One of our 911 dispatchers died suddenly while on a walk with his wife and 7-year-old son.  David Griffin, 45, had been an employee with ECC for only a few years but made a lasting impression on all his colleges.  His sudden death has devastated us all.  We would like to show our respect and support by assisting his wife and family with any financial concerns.  There is a trust for his youngest son in the works.  Until then, any donations or cards can be mailed to his wife: Tracey Griffin, 11317 Ivy Flower Loop, Riverview, FL 33569.   Any questions, inquiries, notes or condolences to his co-workers can be answered by David's shift captain and close friendMike TurnerThanks in advance for all of your help. PM Jodi DellaValle, MCEMS B Shift 
    Update:
    There is now a fund for David Griffin's family. Checks should be made out to Tracey Griffin in trust for Ian Griffin.  You can mail it directly to her at:  Tracey Griffin, 11317 Ivy Flower Loop, Riverview, FL  33569.  Thank you so much for all of your efforts.  We all appreciated the cards and condolences from folks all over the country that were generated from your web site.  The cards and money donated from people that have no idea who David was is very touching and inspirational. We also appreciate your box of gifts and cards that 911 CARES sent to our staff. Your support has been amazing. Thanks  Mike Turner, Captain
  • 02/19/06 MARY HOLLOMAN, OBION COUNTY (TN) 9-1-1.  UPDATE!
    Mary Holloman has been a dispatcher with us since 1995. Just before Christmas 2004, she was not feeling well. On Christmas Eve 2004 she was hospitalized with a "bowel obstruction" Emergency surgery on December 26, 2004, revealed colon cancer which required her to have a colostomy.  Amazingly, she returned to full-time dispatch 4 weeks after her surgery.  In November, she had done so well that the doctors thought her colostomy could be reversed.  In the preliminary testing, an ultrasound was taken showing what was thought to be an ovarian cyst. When the surgeon began her operation on December 19, his plan was to remove the cyst first, then proceed with the reversal. He found not a cyst, but a malignant mass on her ovary. In addition, he said it looked like someone poured a bottle of "glue" into her abdomen. Mary wants to come back to work because she is single and cannot afford to be off for a long time, plus she says that she would rather come back to work and deal with someone else's problems instead of sitting at home thinking about her own. Unfortunately, she is not bouncing back from this ordeal as easily, and she seems discouraged.  Our center is small (Director and 6 dispatchers), and we are like a family. It's tough to watch a family member go through something like this and sometimes even hard to know what to do to help. Our agency is covering the cost of her health insurance, and our dispatchers are putting a very small amount of money together to help her out. Any donation from the friends at 911 Cares would be wonderful.  Additionally, notes or cards and donations can be sent to: Mary Hollomon, c/o Obion County 911, P.O. Box 866, Union City, TN. 38281. Make checks to Mary Hollomon.  THANK YOU!  Obion County 911(Sherri Fisher Hanna, Executive Director, Lori Cox, Assistant Director, Nancy Morrison, Dispatcher, Lee Ann Lewis, Dispatcher, David G. "Little Fish" Fisher, Dispatcher, Brandy Davis, Dispatcher)
    Update:
    Mary is in the hospital for the third time since December. At last report, she was home recuperating after they had decided she had renal failure. The good news is that she is no longer considered to have renal failure. Instead, she has been diagnosed with "Shortened Bowel Syndrome," a condition affecting most people who have had 50% or more of their small bowel removed. The condition leads to severe dehydration mimicking renal failure because food and liquids are expelled so quickly that no nutrition or hydration has time to be absorbed in the body. They have started giving her injections to help slow the process, and she is getting better.  The bad news is that she had a gall bladder attack during her stay, and she had to have gall bladder surgery last Monday. She is doing so much better, but today she had been in the hospital 3 weeks on this stay alone. She hopes to go home today.  We are very anxious to have her back at work. She is such an integral part of our operations, and we miss her.  Thanks again to you and everyone who is sending their thoughts and wishes for Mary!
    Respectfully, Obion County 911

  • 02/15/06 FIKE FAMILY FUNDRAISER, LAKE COUNTY (IL) 9-1-1
    During the early morning hours on January 21st, 2006 a fire swept through the residence of the Fike family in Beach Park, Illinois.  Kenneth Fike, his wife, and three adult children lost literally everything except the clothing on their backs.  Thankfully everyone successfully evacuated the house in time prior to the total loss.  Kenneth Fike is a 14-year veteran of the Lake County Sheriff's Office 911 center and is currently assigned to the day shift.  Kenny has been a Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 66 member since its charter has begun.  Fundraising efforts are in the works, however due to the total loss that the family has received, the Lake County Sheriff's Office and Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 66 are asking your immediate assistance in providing the family some of the necessities of life such as clothing.  Clothing sizes and personal needs can be viewed here (updated 02/01/06).  Currently, items may be dropped off at the Lake County Sheriff's Office Highway Patrol substation, 1301 N. Milwaukee Avenue, Libertyville.  We wish to thank you in advance for your efforts.  
  • 01/12/06 SCOTT ELDRIDGE, WHITTIER (CA) POLICE DEPARTMENT.  TRAGIC PASSING OF A DISPATCHER
    Scott Eldridge had been a Police Dispatcher for 20 years with the Whittier Police Department.  Scott had just turned 50 and lived in the City of Whittier.  He was married to his wife for 26 years and had no major health problems.  On Sunday, January 8, 2006, Whittier Police Department received a devastating 9-1-1 call that Scott was not breathing.  His son performed CPR until help arrived. Scott was transported to Whittier Presbyterian Hospital and was on life support....The following day, Scott did not survive.... It is true when we say that the police department personnel are our extended family.