Amy Elkins, who serves as a telecommunications shift supervisor for the Dare County Sheriff’s Office 911 Communications Center in Manteo, has been named Dare County Employee of the Month for June 2022.
The award was presented to Elkins by Dare County 911 Communications Center Director Captain Jack Scarborough during the Dare County Board of Commissioners meeting that was held at 9 a.m. on Monday, June 6, 2022.
Elkins began working for Dare County in July 2009 as a telecommunicator for the 911 Communications Center, which operates out of the Dare County Emergency Operations Center in Manteo and provides services for Dare County, Tyrrell County and Hyde County. In January 2016, Elkins was promoted to assistant shift supervisor, and in February 2019, she was promoted to her current position of telecommunications shift supervisor.
Among her many responsibilities as a telecommunications shift supervisor, Elkins is tasked with receiving and responding to emergency and non-emergency calls, as well as dispatching the appropriate police, fire and emergency medical services personnel to various locations throughout the three counties the 911 Communications Center serves. She is also responsible for supervising the assistant telecommunicator and five telecommunicators that are assigned to each shift she works.
During his Employee of the Month presentation, Scarborough highlighted Elkins’ quiet and calm demeanor, which allows her to successfully assist callers during extremely stressful emergency situations that are often one of the worst experiences of their lives.
“She brings a sense of calm to any situation in the room, from [giving] CPR instructions to defusing callers’ sensitive, life-threatening situations,” said Scarborough. “When anybody in the public safety field gets into a life-threatening situation—whether you’re on the other side of the radio or the phone—she’s one of the ones you want to hear on the other end of that radio because she’s always calm.”
Scarborough also commented on Elkins’ efforts to ensure the Dare County 911 Communications Center is always properly staffed despite the recent challenges caused by staffing shortages and the COVID-19 pandemic.
“She not only covers her shift, but she fills in whenever anybody needs time off, and when somebody calls in sick, she’s the first person that will come in and take care of the shift,” he said. “She volunteered to work on holidays—Thanksgiving and Christmas—due to COVID vacancies, and the thing is, once you volunteer for the holidays and work those, you’re never going to get it back. She’ll never get that time back with her family. It’s a very selfless act that all of our telecommunicators—and especially Amy—do. She puts the needs of her fellow telecommunicators and the community above her own.”
In addition to Scarborough, Elkins also received considerable praise from multiple colleagues who submitted nomination forms recommending her for the prestigious honor of Dare County Employee of the Month.
“Amy has the most calm voice on 911 calls. I’ve always said if I had to call 911, I wanted Amy to answer because she is calm to our callers in the worst time of their lives,” wrote Neries Sullivan, who serves as assistant communications director. “Amy is a low-maintenance supervisor and does her job to the best of her ability and gives 100 percent every time she is here. Amy is my hero!”
Another of Elkins’ colleagues also had high praise for Elkins, writing in her nomination form, “Amy truly sets the bar high and is the type of person I strive to become one day. Her knowledge and dedication are an inspiration, and I hope she knows that she truly makes a difference by being a behind-the-scenes hero who wears a headset—and is often overlooked because she doesn’t arrive on scene with lights and sirens—but without her, the call for help wouldn’t be answered, and there would be chaos in the community.”
As he concluded his comments and presented Elkins with the award for Dare County Employee of the Month, Scarborough said, “She’s an absolute pleasure to work with. She truly makes a difference, and she’s the picture of a perfect telecommunicator and supervisor.”