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News | April 14, 2021

Jack Dietrich named DLA Emergency Communication Center Operator of the Year

By Matthew Mahoney, DLA Distribution Public Affairs

National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week is April 11-17, 2021. It was started in 1981 to recognize these first responders who remain available every hour of every day.

In honor of this week, Defense Logistics Agency Installation Management Susquehanna recognizes Jack Dietrich, emergency services lead dispatcher, for being awarded DLA Emergency Communication Center Operator of the Year. Deitrich, also the 2020 ECC professional of the year; two-time 2020 ECC employee of the quarter; and 2020 Security Management Branch Employee of the Quarter, led multiple initiatives regarding training, department cooperation and COVID-19 pandemic response.

“Access to the installation is the most common call we receive,” said Deitrich. Over the past year, access to the installation has faced changes due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Deitrich led an effort to incorporate COVID-19 screening questions as part of the initial conversation between someone requesting access to the installation and the dispatchers.

If there was one thing Deitrich wished everyone else knew it would be “the volume of calls received each day,” he said.

Between the hours 6 a.m. - 6 p.m., every day, there are almost 100 calls for installation access. On top of that are emergency calls which take precedence. While this balance of priority is critical to the dispatcher role, it remains near invisible to the caller.

“Dispatchers require multiple certifications ranging from federal, to state, to even DLA requirements,” said Kimberly Hartman, emergency services dispatch supervisor. All of these certifications assist the dispatcher in the initial moments when a call comes in.

Not only do these questions help determine what services to send out, but also provide information to the fire, police, or emergency medical services that arrive on site.

One of Deitrich’s current training projects includes training installation warehouse employees on the use of the orange emergency button on their radios. “Pressing that button gives the user clear use of the radio waves for 20 seconds,” said Deitrich. Teaching employees about every available tool at their disposal can save essential seconds in a critical situation.

Under leadership and initiative from Deitrich, the installation emergency communication center has created policies and procedures that allow the department to grow and develop in ways that are most efficient and beneficial to them.

“It allows us to identify our own deficiencies and correct them independently,” said Hartman.