BISMARCK, N.D. — Two employees from the North Dakota Department of Emergency Services (NDDES) were honored yesterday for their innovative contributions to emergency management and dedication to serving North Dakotans. North Dakota Director of Homeland Security and Interim State Radio Director Darin Hanson presented the Homeland Security Division’s Most Valuable Team Member award to Jeff Thompson and Emergency Dispatcher of the Year award to Alayna Carlson during an agency meeting in the State Emergency Operations Center on Fraine Barracks in Bismarck.
“Jeff and Alayna represent the best of the best in our emergency management and 9-1-1 dispatch communities,” Hanson said. “Both have gone above and beyond in performing their duties to ensure their teams are supported and that our agency, as a whole, can better serve the citizens of North Dakota. I congratulate them both on a job well done and thank them for being part of our team.”
Homeland Security Most Valuable Team Member
Thompson, hazardous chemical officer at NDDES, was nominated by his co-workers for his work this past spring during a series of major winter storms and consequent flooding. He was assigned to response-related duties as a Logistics Section chief during a co-worker’s absence. Thompson also was recognized for his contributions to the state’s Haz-Chem Preparedness and Response Program, particularly for his work developing and streamlining the state’s unified spill reporting system at spill.nd.gov. He regularly collaborates with industry partners to make spill reporting requirements and documentation a more efficient process.
One person who nominated Thompson wrote, “Jeff’s willingness to meet with stakeholders, go over the system, talk about what works and what doesn’t and then follow through with the (software) contractors to make the changes has made a difference to our ‘whole community’ partners and thus, the citizens of North Dakota.”
Thompson, of Dickinson, North Dakota, has worked at the Homeland Security Division for nine years.
State Radio Dispatcher of the Year
The State Radio Dispatcher of the Year Award recognizes employees who consistently go beyond the call of duty and to acknowledge the stressful nature of emergency dispatch work. To be nominated, dispatchers must show a positive attitude; be courteous to co-workers, callers and responders in the field; assist co-workers and make everyone around them better and have documented incidents from a co-worker of where they excelled.
Carlson had multiple nominations praising her work ethic, positive attitude and concern for callers and first responders. One person who nominated her said, “(Alayna) is always willing to step up and help other dispatchers when needed, willing to take on extra duties throughout the day. She continues to excel every day and it is an honor to say that I get the opportunity to work with Alayna every shift.”
Carlson, of Bismarck, has been a Division of State Radio emergency dispatcher for more than two years.