The recipient of an award for her work in emergency communications said it was something she grew up with.
"When I used to watch Rescue 911 as a child, I didn't realize that this is where I would be. I come from a family where my father was a police officer, and I ended up meeting my husband in the fire service at my job. And every day I'm amazed that I could be a part of this system where we get to help people everyday and continue on the legacy of all of the generations of public service before us," said Springfield Dispatch Director Melissa Nazarro.
Nazzaro began her job in emergency communications in 2000. And 10 years later, she became the director of dispatch for the city of Springfield.
Thursday morning, cheers and applause echoed through city hall as Nazarro was the 18th recipient of the Jeff Grossman Award.
Jeff Grossman was a media relations specialist for the Executive Office of Public Safety, and largely responsible for the 911 system in the state.
This award honors his life, as well as the lives of unsung heroes in the community that people rarely get to see: the communicators behind the scenes that help police, fire, and medical first responders do their job faster and better.
"The foundation is trying to recognize people that really have gone above and beyond - that are really working behind the scenes to make the system better and make those improvements that really benefit the public every day," said Michael Mangini, a founding member of the Jeff Grossman Award
"I think of dispatching as being one of the public safety professions. It's something that we will continue to strive to make as strong as we possibly can," said Nazarro.
And to others, it isn't just Nazaro's dedication to the job that makes her worthy of this honor.
"I think that she is a little bit disarming in that [she] has a very friendly personality and I think she is very warm and inviting," said Mangini.
Copyright 2012 WSHM (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
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