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News | April 15, 2022

National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week celebrated on Defense Supply Center Richmond

By Leon Moore, Public Affairs Specialist DLA Aviation Public Affairs Office

National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week is held every year during the second week of April to honor telecommunications personnel for their commitment, service and sacrifice. This year, it is celebrated April 10-16.

Patricia Anderson of the Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Office in California initially started NPSTW in 1981. In 1994, President Bill Clinton signed Presidential Proclamation 6667, declaring the second week of April as NPSTW. This week is a time to celebrate and thank telecommunications personnel across the nation who serve our communities, citizens and public safety personnel 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

In recognition of NPSTW, Bruce Thomas, staff director, DLA Installation Management’s Security and Emergency Services, said DLA will once again join the nation in recognizing our dedicated dispatchers who provide critical emergency and non-emergency support each year to the DLA warfighter support mission.

On Defense Supply Center Richmond, Virginia, Deborah Foster is responsible for ensuring the Emergency Communication Center runs smoothly and efficiently. Foster, a contracted employee within DLA Installation Management Richmond’s Emergency Services, is the program manager overseeing the ECC contract.

Foster brought a wealth of emergency services experience to the table when she was hired back in June  2021. She had previously worked as a 9-1-1 supervisor with James City County, Virginia, for more than 27-years retiring two weeks before coming to DSCR.

Don Bartlett is the security operations chief for DLA Installation Management Richmond’s Security and Emergency Services. He believes Foster’s hard work and dedication make her the idea person for the job.

“Since joining the ECC team, Mrs. Foster has overcome tremendous adversity while managing positive changes within the ECC. She embodies the work ethic, team mentality and perseverance that DLA employees should strive to achieve,” he said.

Foster said overcoming those adversities included asking her people to work a good deal of overtime hours and losing her lead dispatcher and other staff members.

Despite these obstacles, Foster said she doesn’t regret her decision to take on the responsibility of running the ECC.

“Everyone within the public safety building has been great. They are the ones who get me through the hard days because I know I have the support,” she said.