Two Lake Oswego Communications Center employees received not one, but two prestigious awards, announced earlier this month.
Mary Kidd and John Wiggins, senior communications operators for LOCOM, were honored with Oregon Association of Public Safety Communication (APCO) awards.
The Oregon chapter of APCO-NENA, which represents its members before communications regulatory agencies and policy-making bodies, provides support for public safety employees and works to provide education, recognition, state and federal representation.
The chapter has an award program that includes 12 state awards to honor public safety employees.
Kidd received the Oregon Trainer of the Year Award and Wiggins received the Hearts of 9-1-1 Award during the awards banquet in Bend Sept. 11.
The award Kidd received reflects the outstanding training she has provided to new dispatch employees.
"Mary has found the balance allowing controlled failures that reinforce the need to obtain certain information and those times when she needs to take control for responder or citizen safety," said Dispatch Supervisor Sue Scobert in her nomination letter. "She is able to share the 'why' with new employees, helping them gain necessary skills for success, as well as helping her fellow trainers learn and become successful. Skilled trainers are critical to the success of any organization and Mary exemplifies professionalism as a trainer and as a mentor for her fellow trainers. She has made a lasting and positive impact on our organization."
"I'm honored for the recognition and the opportunity to work with such a great support system here" Kidd added.
Wiggins was recognized for coordinating the Adopt-a-Family Program, which provides local underprivileged families with gifts during the holiday season.
"John stepped into a successful program; he has since then grown it into something bigger and better each year," said Scobert in her nomination.
Wiggins became involved with the Adopt-a-Family Program role about 10 years ago after the previous organizer retired.
Wiggins manages the pop can fund, where he and the janitorial staff collect bottles from employees at Lake Oswego City Hall and use the deposits to purchase food gift cards for the families.
Wiggins then coordinates, through a local family services nonprofit organization, a "wish list" from the families in need and gathers donations by the police department to purchase Christmas gifts for the families.
"The award is not why I did this. The award is very nice and very touching, but making sure everybody has a merry Christmas is very important," said Wiggins, adding that he couldn't have accomplished the work without the help of his wife, Kathy. "She's like the unsung hero of pushing me a lot, helping me do this."
Wiggins said he saw a need in the community and found a way to address it. In doing so, he embodied the spirit of the APCO Awards.
"They look for people that go above and beyond to give back to the community," said LOPD Detective Lieutenant Darryl Wrisley. "We have one of the best dispatch centers in the state. We are very fortunate."
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