Control room heroes shortlisted
Written by: Charlotte Hathway | Published:
Above: APD Control Room Awards judges, from left, Mike Isherwood, Andrew Saunders, representing Barry Zielinski, and Teri Seaber. The other judges took part remotely.

The finalists have been announced for the APD Control Room Awards. Now in its third year, the awards shine a light on individuals and teams who go above and beyond.

A total of almost 400 nominations were received from 80 organisations for the 2020 awards, with each nominee receiving a “badge of honour”.

The judging panel – listed below and made up of those with vast experience of working in or with the emergency services and critical control organisations – met last week to discuss the nominees and create the shortlists.

  • 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.

Mike Isherwood, APD managing director, 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.”

The awards are supported by a number of organisations operating in the emergency services sector: telent, The British Association of Public Safety Communications Officials (British APCO), BAPCO Annual Conference & Exhibition 2020, International Critical Control Rooms Alliance (ICCRA), Emergency Services Times, Hexagon Safety & Infrastructure, Northgate Public Services, Red Box, West Pier, UKCloud, and RapidSOS.

The full shortlist is as follows, and the winners will be announced at a ceremony taking place at Jury’s Inn, Hinckley Island, Leicestershire, on 5th March.

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


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