|Updated: 10/16 2:43 pm
||Published: 10/16 2:42 pm
Donna Rutherford, a City of Tulsa 911 employee, received the Telecommunicator of the Year award from the Association of Public Safety Communications Officials.
APCO is a national organization that supports emergency telecommunicators around the country.
Rutherford was nominated for this award for her fast action and calm demeanor while handling a call following the robbery and attack of Bob and Nancy Strait. Soon after the suspects fled by vehicle, Rutherford received a call from a citizen who recognized the suspect vehicle in question and called 911.
When Rutherford answered the phone, she knew immediately this may be the vehicle that police were looking for. She remained calm and quickly entered the information into the computer system and sent it through dispatch to alert the Tulsa Police Department. Rutherford remained on the phone with the caller who was following the suspect vehicle and kept the citizen calm and focused while officers quickly arrived and apprehended the suspects.
“It’s a personal sense of accomplishment to help citizens day after day. It’s one of the best feelings about this job - I love everything about my job and I love what I do,” said Rutherford.
Tim Davidson, City of Tulsa 911 Supervisor, nominated Rutherford for the award and said she is very humbled and insists that citizens should receive all of the credit for their courageous efforts.
“Donna was nominated because she was the link between the citizens’ eyes and ears and the arresting officer. Great things happen every day at the 911 Center and we are fortunate we had this opportunity to honor Donna for her dedication and hard work.”
Rutherford has been with the City of Tulsa 911 Center for nine years. She was recognized as the Telecommunicator of the Year at a ceremony earlier this week in south Tulsa.
Last year, Rutherford made a cameo appearance in a City of Tulsa video for 911 services, seeking Spanish speaking call takers. In the video, Rutherford is actually on a live-call doing the job she loves to do, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CiOu7a7uv-c.