In mid-July, after faithfully serving the Town for 7-years, A. Douglas Cudmore resigned from his position as Communications Director. Prior to leaving, Doug saw to it that our new radio frequency and repeater were activated. This system was designed to provide better radio coverage throughout the Town by reducing "dead spots" and eliminating interference from other two-way radio systems. On behalf of the Town, I thank Doug for his initiative in this project and for his many years of service to Ashby.
I would also like to take a moment to thank our Dispatchers for their tireless commitment and dedication, but special recognition needs to go out to our full-time employees: Donna Leonard, Ray Page, and Joyce Hopkins. Staffing has been an issue and had it not been for these people putting in extra hours, we would not have been able to fill all of the open shifts.
For some reason, the dispatcher is the most overlooked member in the chain of public safety personnel and yet, they are the most important. No matter what emergency service a resident may need, all calls are routed through a dispatcher. It is often the reassuring and professional manner of the dispatcher that calms a frantic caller and obtains vital information that is then provided to responding personnel. They are also the only lifelines between our police officers, firefighters and EMTs when assistance is requested. To put it quite simply, the entire public safety program hinges on the dispatcher. With the introduction of Enhanced-911, the LEAPS / NCIC computer and even our own "in-house" computer system, dispatching continues to evolve into a more demanding, technical and stressful job.
As a result, I have requested a raise for the communications staff. They are grossly underpaid and this increase would allow us to pay our dispatchers a wage that is somewhat comparable to that of their peers in surrounding communities.
In closing, I would like to thank the Towns people and all of the Department Heads for their cooperation and support.
James A. Victoria