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The original item was published from 4/15/2020 3:15:34 PM to 5/7/2020 12:00:00 AM.

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Pitkin County Press Releases

Posted on: April 15, 2020

[ARCHIVED] Pitkin County 9-1-1 Awarded Colorado Communication Center of the Year

C-141135 Pitkin County Dispatch Center Coin Colorado AR

Pitkin County Regional Emergency Dispatch Center (PCREDC) 911 Dispatchers were recently awarded the 2020 Colorado Communication Center of the Year by our national professional organizations for leading the way in advancing their status as first responders, for innovation in the technology used to serve their citizens, and for maintaining the high level of professionalism and skill that has defined PCREDC for years. This award is presented to the Communications/911 Center that has exemplified outstanding professionalism, leadership, and innovation to the community it serves, as well as to its region and state.

“I like to compare it to breaking trail in the backcountry,” Brett Loeb, 911 Commander for the Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office stated, “It takes the most energy, vision, and risk to break through into new territory, but it clears the way and makes the destination many times easier to reach for others. Not only did we improve our status, systems and environment for the dispatchers and citizens of Pitkin County, but we also made it easier for, and hopefully inspired, centers across the State to accomplish similar goals.” Loeb continued, “all of this was done while maintaining our excellence in service to our community and our partner agencies, and for this, we are most proud.”

In October, Pitkin County 911 Dispatchers became the first in Colorado to be officially recognized as “First Responders” when the Pitkin County BOCC and Sheriff DiSalvo elevated their status. In June, the center developed technology to become the first in the State, second in the Nation, to offer our backcountry users direct 911 access to our center via satellite devices. In July, PCREDC was the first center in the state to be granted permission by FEMA to launch IPAWS notifications into two neighboring counties so we could alert residents in the Lake Christine Burnscar area in Pitkin, Eagle and Garfield counties with one alert message instead of three. The groundbreaking training program developed at Pitkin County was shared at the State Conference and has been installed, with the help of PCREDC, in several centers across the state. These accomplishments led to many inquiries and similar efforts across the State and Country. 

“Out of the 86 centers in Colorado, it is an honor to be recognized as the Communication Center of the year. This honor is usually reserved for large Colorado Centers,” said Joe DiSalvo, Pitkin County Sheriff. “PCREDC is a progressive department and has been recognized for its innovative training programs and technology advancements,” DiSalvo continued, “they serve eight Public Safety agencies in Pitkin, Garfield and Eagle counties, dispatching Law, Fire, and EMS to emergencies. PCREDC was the first in the state to have text to 911 and is now a test site for video 911. They are all unsung heroes, and First Responders, and a crucial link to Pitkin County’s Public Safety team.”

Throughout these advancements, Pitkin County 911 dispatcher’s calls and radio traffic were reviewed by third-party quality assurance specialists. They scored over 95% on emergency calls and radio dispatch quality and qualified for an Accredited Center of Excellence for all medical calls through the International Academies of Emergency Dispatch. More tangibly, last year Pitkin County 911 dispatchers also received six lifesaving awards presented by Roaring Fork Fire & Rescue and helped with one healthy baby delivery over the phone. 

“For our dispatchers to take care of you, we must take care of them, both mentally and physically as there is growing proof that this profession can be as stressful and damaging to mental health as those who respond in-person,” Loeb said. A few of the measures that were started last year are a ‘healthy snacks’ program that provides fresh fruit to the center weekly and the installation of a vegetable garden for healthy food and stress relief. Partnerships with the Mindful Life Program out of Carbondale and Aspen Fire District, for mental and physical well being, were also continued.   

Pitkin County 911 dispatchers are on the front line of our community’s battle with COVID-19, triaging calls from worried and sick citizens while also watching the backs of responders in the field. They cannot work from home, and every time someone is out sick, their workload multiplies. Yet they persevere and gladly show up each day to cover each other like they always do. The center is also testing video technology this spring, another first in the State. Soon 911 callers in Pitkin County will be able to live stream video directly into dispatch, another innovative advancement that will improve response to emergencies. This pilot program will be used to establish policies and procedures to be implemented by other centers as this technology expands in the future.

PCREDC dispatches for Aspen Ambulance, Aspen Police, Aspen Fire, Snowmass Village Police, Basalt Police, Roaring Fork Fire Rescue, Carbondale Fire, and Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office. They answer 911 calls and have emergency notification responsibilities, though Pitikin Alert, from the top of Independence Pass to the Garfield County line and throughout the Crystal and Frying Pan Valleys. 

Media Contact:

Brett Loeb

911 Commander | Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office 

Pitkin County Regional Emergency Dispatch Center

Aspen, CO 81611

Office 970-315-2184 | Cell 970-471-5237 | email

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