Julie Regier, a dispatcher for Austin-Travis (Texas) County EMS emergency dispatch, was honored as the first annual Dispatcher of the Year as selected by the National Academies of Emergency Dispatch (NAED). “It’s a good feeling to be recognized,” Regier said in a prepared statement. “Even though we may work behind the scenes, as 911 dispatchers, we’re the first line of defense in any emergency.”

Regier, who received her award at the NAED’s Navigator conference in Baltimore, Md., was chosen to receive the honor after judges listened to tapes of 911 calls and reviewed dispatch records to rank nominees’ professionalism, ability to function under stress and adherence to protocols.

“Dispatchers provide an important and often unrecognized service to the public,” Mark Rector, one of three judges on the NAED/IAED Awards Committee, said in a prepared statement. “How Julie does her job says a lot about the dispatching profession as a whole. It’s not just about the high-profile calls and high-profile saves--it’s about providing professional and caring services every day, on every call.”

Beverly Bottorff-Patton, clinical communications commander for Austin-Travis County EMS, nominated Regier for the award and echoed Rector’s sentiment.

“Julie has used her calm, professional demeanor in dealing with a wide range of callers, from hysterical to devoid of emotion,” Bottorff-Patton said in a prepared statement. “In each case, she has dealt with the circumstances ‘on-the-fly’ in the best tradition of our profession, while upholding the high standards of Austin-Travis County EMS and the National Academies of Emergency Dispatch.”