The Iowa Chapter of Association of Public Safety Communications Officials (APCO) has awarded Winnebago County Communications dispatcher Ashley Egesdal 2019-2020 Telecommunicator of the Year. Ashley was nominated for her excellence in handling the multiple injury accident that occurred on January 1,2019 in which she received multiple 911 calls about two-vehicle head on collision in rural Forest City. Ten young adults were involved with multiple critical injuries. Ashley single handedly juggled two 911 callers who were at the scene while paging Forest City Ambulance, Forest City Fire, Forest City Police, Winnebago County Deputy, Buffalo Center Ambulance and Hancock County for an additional ambulance; all within 10 minutes of receiving the first 911 call. In the next 10 minutes she quickly, calmly and professionally logged units en route, got Mayo Air Med dispatched, gave directions to the scene to several units and verified Iowa State Patrol was en route. The call of course did not end there, the location was approximately 10 minutes from the City of Forest City and as units began arriving and patients were assessed, it became quickly apparent additional medical services were needed. Ashley contacted Kossuth Co, Clear Lake, and Cerro Gordo to send units and medics. It was several hours before things began to slow down for Ashley and she was able to take a breather from the chaos she was able to keep straight and log accurately. Eleven different agencies responded to Ashley’s call.
In the days following this call, Ashley’s supervisor’s began receiving high praise from officers, ambulance personnel and dispatchers from a neighboring county commending her on a job well done. We watched the news closely and although several of the victims were critically injured, there were no fatalities. Ashley’s quick response to this call no doubt helped save their lives.