Control room company APD is launching the first awards to recognise and celebrate the unsung heroes who work behind the scenes in control rooms across the UK.
The Hull-based firm develops critical, life-saving software used by the police and other emergency services organisations across the country, as well as transport and aviation operators nationally and internationally.
The company’s software protects the public and emergency services personnel and ensures the efficient, continuous operation of services vital to public safety and security.
APD, which is based on the Newland Science Park in Hull, has launched the Control Room Awards 2018 to recognise the life-saving and life-changing work of control room staff working for the emergency services and within a wide range of public and private sector organisations.
The awards are the first to recognise the achievements of control room staff in their day-to-day duties, often dealing with harrowing and distressing situations.
APD managing director Mike Isherwood said: “These awards are about publicly acknowledging the amazing people who work in emergency and critical control rooms everywhere.
“They play a vital role in keeping members of the public
“We see first-hand the extraordinary work of individuals and teams in emergency services control rooms and in critical operations across the public and private sectors and we felt we should do something to recognise their vital contribution.
“The awards will thank them for the outstanding and unseen work they do, day in, day out.”
The APD Control Room Awards 2018 feature nine categories:
West Yorkshire Police is among the emergency services organisations backing the awards.
Tom Donohoe, customer contact centre head for West Yorkshire Police, said: “People remember the officers on the scene at a major incident – they don’t always recognise that, more than likely, the response began with the skilled handling of a call into a police control room.
“In such incidents, it’s down to a call handler to stay calm, take down the details, assess the risks and look after the officers going out to the incident, by making sure they know what they are going into. All of that can sometimes go unnoticed.
“I’m a really big supporter of these new awards – they are long overdue. Our control room staff and their counterparts around the country do great work, every single day, and that deserves to be recognised.”
West Yorkshire Police call handler Deborah Griffiths illustrates the crucial role of control room staff in responding to the most serious incidents.
Deborah took the first call from an eyewitness alerting police to the fatal attack on MP Jo Cox in Birstall, West Yorkshire, in June 2016, and played a vital role in apprehending and securing the conviction of the killer, Thomas Mair.
She said: “I’m really pleased these awards are being held
“Some of the calls we receive are about minor matters, but many of them are extremely harrowing. We deal with them because that’s our job – we’re here to look after the public and our colleagues, the officers.
“Control room staff don’t look for recognition, but it’s a good thing they will be acknowledged by these awards. People don’t appreciate the amount of skill, empathy and caring
The Control Room Awards ceremony will take place on Thursday, March 8, 2018, at the luxury De Vere Orchard Hotel in Nottingham. Finalists and a select group of guests will enjoy an evening of celebration, reward and recognition.
Nominations for the Control Room Awards are open until January 18, 2018, with the awards shortlists scheduled to be revealed on February 1, 2018.