The finalists have been announced in awards recognising the incredible behind-the-scenes work of control room stars.
Taking place for the third consecutive year, the APD Control Room Awards 2020 shine a light on individuals and teams who go above and beyond in their roles every day and are the only accolades of their kind to recognise such work across the UK.
The awards are run by APD Communications, which develops critical, life-saving software used by the police and other emergency services organisations, as well as transport and aviation operations nationally and internationally.
A total of almost 400 nominations were received from 80 organisations for the 2020 awards, with each nominee receiving a “badge of honour”. The shortlists have now been announced, with the awards ceremony taking place at Jury’s Inn, Hinckley Island, Leicestershire, on 5th March.
APD Managing Director Mike Isherwood (pictured with fellow judge Teri Seaber), who is also one of the judges, said: “Judging the Control Room Awards is not an easy task. How do you decide which is more worthy of recognition – saving a choking baby, talking someone out of suicide, guiding a family to safety in a house fire, or locating someone at sea when they have no reference points?
“I admit to shedding tears, feeling uplifted, a little bit nauseous, angry and much more while going through the incredible entries. The individual stories create a rollercoaster of emotions, but one thing is for sure – every single one of these individuals and teams are truly amazing.
“They go about their work, saving lives quietly in the background and without fuss. They are all winners and they never cease to amaze me.”
Leading tech company telent is once again the Platinum Partner of the awards and also sponsors the Award for Services to the Public. telent provides technology and network services to enable organisations to improve and maintain mission-critical communications networks.
Other organisations operating in the emergency services sector that support the awards are:
- The British Association of Public Safety Communications Officials (British APCO), the leading UK-based association for everybody who uses public safety communications and IT.
- BAPCO Annual Conference & Exhibition 2020, a crucial event for everyone involved in critical communications and public safety solutions.
- International Critical Control Rooms Alliance (ICCRA), which brings together critical control room professionals worldwide and co-ordinates discussion on key sector issues.
- Emergency Services Times, the highly regarded magazine and organiser of the Emergency Services Show.
- Hexagon Safety & Infrastructure, a global leader in computer-aided dispatch software.
- Northgate Public Services, the market leader for policing IT solutions in the UK.
- Red Box, a leading provider of communication recording solutions to store, retrieve, transcribe and analyse voice, instant messaging, video and data.
- West Pier, the award-winning provider of communications and networking products.
- UKCloud, the service provider of choice for cloud computing services, providing flexible and tailored solutions for UK organisations.
- RapidSOS, which transforms user safety and emergency response, providing software for public safety agencies and connected device and app companies.
The shortlisted entries were selected by a panel of six judges with vast experience of working in or with the emergency services and critical control organisations.
The APD Control Room Awards 2020 judges are:
- Mike Isherwood, Managing Director, APD Communications.
- Sue Noyes, Chair, National Ambulance Staff Charity, and former Chief Executive, East Midlands Ambulance Service.
- Ian Thompson, CEO, British APCO.
- Barry Zielinski, Operations and Services Director, telent.
- Chris Dreyfus-Gibson, Vice Chairman, International Critical Control Rooms Alliance.
- Teri Seaber, former Group Commander, Combined Fire Control of Cambridgeshire and Suffolk Fire and Rescue Services, pictured with Mike Isherwood.
The APD Control Room Awards 2020 finalists are:
Control Room Call Taker of the Year, sponsored by the Emergency Services Times
- Neil Botting, Gloucestershire Constabulary
- Tracy Brindley, North West Fire Control
- Helen Collier, Avon and Somerset Police
Control Room Dispatcher of the Year, sponsored by Hexagon
- Patricia Gribbin, Police Scotland
- Chris Howe, Northumbria Police
- Carmel Sharkey, National Ambulance Service of Ireland
Leader of the Year, sponsored by Northgate Public Services
- Christopher Gooch, Metropolitan Police
- Carly Pointon, Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Service
- Becky Tipper, Avon and Somerset Police
The Award for Services to the Public, sponsored by telent
- Fiona Hannah and Fiona Price, Scottish Fire and Rescue
- Paula Holden, Merseyside Police
- Gail Oliver, Durham Constabulary
Special Recognition Award for Bravery and Courage, sponsored by UKCloud
- Rebecca Garner, Humberside Police
- Martin Lonsdale, North East Ambulance Service
- Nicky Lopez, North West Ambulance Service
Team of the Year, sponsored by Red Box
- Blue Watch (Aeronautical Rescue Co-ordination Centre), Maritime and Coastguard Agency
- Norwich AOC Team 1, East of England Ambulance Service
- South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Control Team
Young Achiever of the Year, sponsored by West Pier
- Hannah Bird, Maritime and Coastguard Agency
- Jabeen Khattak, Kent Police
- Liam Mattin, Essex Police
The Community Champion award, sponsored by RapidSOS
- Jo Sampson, Avon and Somerset Police
- David Wall, Police Scotland
- Rebekka Wheatley, Scottish Ambulance Service
John Gilhooley Award
- Simon Hardware, Kent Police
- Carol Pask, Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue
- Rich Weaver, Devon and Cornwall Police
The Lifetime Achievement Award, sponsored by BAPCO Annual Conference & Exhibition 2020
- Tony Bond, Welsh Ambulance Service
- Carol Norfolk, Kent Police
- Lorraine Smith, South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue
Control Room Ambassador of the Year, sponsorship available.
- Andrea Ginns, Leicestershire Police
- Ashleigh Spriggs, Leicestershire Fire and Rescue
- Dale Wilson, West Yorkshire Police
All the finalists will be invited to the ceremony to discover who the winners are. The evening promises to be an interactive and joyful celebration for the control room community.