Meceola Central Dispatch recognizes employees for achieving milestones

Stacy Shillington (middle) and Kelly Witherspoon (right) were acknowledged by Meceola Central Dispatch Director Megan Erickson (left) for completing their probationary year of training on Monday. (Pioneer photo/Taylor Fussman)

PARIS — Every year, dispatchers with Meceola Central Dispatch receive hundreds of calls, serving as the first contact for people reporting everything from medical emergencies to fires to robberies.

On Monday, several dispatchers were recognized for their dedication to serving the people of Mecosta and Osceola counties.

Among those recognized was Theresa Vanatta, supervisor, dispatcher and certified training officer with Meceola Central Dispatch, who received a plaque for 15 years of service.

Meceola Central Dispatch Director Megan Erickson said the board wanted to acknowledge Vanatta for her commitment throughout the years.

“Fifteen years is a milestone in anyone’s career,” Erickson said. “Theresa has shown dedication and loyalty to this business.”

Vanatta said after about six months of working as a dispatcher, she knew she found what she was meant to do.

“You kind of find your calling. This is not just a job,” she said.

Meceola Central Dispatch Director Megan Erickson (left) presented Theresa Vanatta with a plaque recognizing her for 15 years of service with the department Monday morning. (Pioneer photo/Taylor Fussman)

While Vanatta was honored for the length of her service, Stacy Shillington and Kelly Witherspoon were recognized for taking the step to become dispatchers and completing their probationary year of training.

Erickson said as part of the probationary period, Shillington and Witherspoon completed 600 hours, or 16 weeks, of training, as well as a six-step training and evaluation.

“The training is pretty intense. They’re getting a lot of information thrown at them in a short period of time,” Erickson said, “but we are very fortunate to have great training officers here.”

Shillington and Witherspoon said they were both surprised and grateful to be recognized for their hard work.

“It has been a privilege working with the senior dispatchers,” Shillington said. “I’m looking forward to growing with the team.”

Witherspoon added it was a longtime goal of hers to work with law enforcement in some aspect.

“I’m still learning every day,” she said.

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Posted by Taylor Fussman

Taylor is the cops and courts reporter for the Pioneer and Herald Review newspapers. She can be reached at (231) 592-8362 or by email at tfussman@pioneergroup.com.

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