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Pictured from left to right: Justin Honeycutt, Lori Robinson, James Griffin. Not pictured: Jason Dyer, Adam Scarborough, Darrel Bartlett, Robert English
A gas leak, a landslide destroying a building, numerous water rescues, multiple evacuations… most of us would probably use one of those events as an excuse to leave work early on a Friday. Not Buncombe County Emergency Services. On a Friday in April of 2019, Buncombe County experienced torrential downpours leading to all the aforementioned incidents and more. And County Telecommunicators did what they do best: take care of business.
The County’s 911 call center handled an exceptionally high volume of calls, coordinated multiple responding agencies, and maintained composure while helping emergency responders save lives and property in the midst of significant flooding. “Every single person working that day exemplified what we as 911 managers look for in the people we hire,” exclaims 911 Manager Brooke Hazlett. “They were dedicated, hard-working, unwavering, knowledgeable, and backed each other up at every step.”
That dedication and hard work is being recognized by the North Carolina National Emergency Number Association (NC NENA) as the County’s team has been named Communications Team of the Year for its performance. NC NENA describes the award as going to, “Communications officers for their exemplary handling of a specific 911 emergency or other situation that involves the coordination of multiple public safety responses and other emergency resources.”
In fact, Asheville Fire Department credits Telecommunicator Justin Honeycutt's ability to multitask and handle multiple incidents simultaneously as a "major factor" in its success that day.
Buncombe County could not be prouder of all our Telecommunicators and EMS workers. But we’d like to especially congratulate the following employees for staying cool under pressure and earning this statewide recognition: Assistant Supervisor Lori Robinson, Telecommunicator Darrel Bartlett, Telecommunicator Justin Honeycutt, Telecommunicator Robert English, Telecommunicator James Griffin, Telecommunicator Adam Scarborough, and Telecommunicator Jason Dyer.