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Emergency Services Dispatchers of the Year: Tony Perkins, Ashley Thompson, Jared Mattison and DJ Helmer

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A March 8th, 2023 accident on I-86 highlights the key role of Emergency Service Dispatchers

From the Allegany County Sheriff’s Office, pictured is Sheriff Cicirello, ESD D.J. Helmer, ESD Ashley Thompson, ESD Tony Perkins, and Undersheriff Mackney

Comments from Sheriff Cicirello:

“Being an ESD is a difficult job. They are on the front lines when a major incident happens. They are the ones that make sure people get the emergency help they need-whether it be fire, EMS or law enforcement. What makes their job even more difficult is that they stay on the line and assist people through critical incidents. Some of those incidents being both horrific and traumatic.

On March 8th, 2023, Dispatch received multiple calls reporting a wrong way driver on I-86 going east in the west bound lane in the Town of West Almond. Dispatchers immediately checked the map and noticed there were troop cars both east and west of the reported location and advised both cars that there was a wrong way driver going east in the west bound lane. State Police Unit 4A32 was going west in the west bound lane and came upon a major motor vehicle accident, head-on collision with serious injury. The Trooper reported 1 patient being unconscious and 1 patient being conscious, and that extrication would be needed.

The driver of the wrong way vehicle ended up succumbing to injuries on scene, the vehicle that was struck head on was occupied by 1 male and was heavily entrapped. Extrication would end up taking 1 hour and 15 minutes. Dispatch played a key role in relaying information from the scene to Jones Memorial Hospital where Dr. Ryder stood by assessing the situation. The victim heavily entrapped was in danger of losing his life and Dr. Ryder determined that it was necessary to respond to the scene of the accident and began setting a plan in place to possibly amputate the victim’s leg on scene. Rapid extrication took place on scene (without need for amputation) and the patient was stabilized and transferred to air medical on scene and transported to Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester. The victim ultimately survived.

I firmly believe if not for the extraordinary job performed by our dispatchers, he would not have survived. During this time our dispatchers remained calm and professional and did everything in their power to get help to the scene as fast as possible. Our ESD’s handled a difficult task and did it with dignity, professionalism and humanity. Congratulations to ESD Tony Perkins, Ashley Thompson, Jared Mattison and DJ Helmer for representing the very best of the Allegany County Sheriff’s Office.”

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