APCO Walk of Heroes

The walkway is located in the Daytona Beach area

A tribute to life members

Many of our members aspire to be "life members"

APCO Walk of Heroes Path

This walkway has many tributes to public safety professionals

Another stone in the pathway

This stone honors Washington Chapter Past Presidents




The Washington State Chapter recognizes the contributions its members have made as past International presidents to foster, protect and enhance the spirit that is APCO International. All APCO International members owe the past presidents more than can be repaid. But we can continue to remember, and we can continue to express our gratitude that there have been and are people like these and communities that will support their service to our association. Thank you to our Washington State APCO International Past Presidents.


Chris Fischer - August 2008-August 2009

Richard Quantz - August 1965-August 1966

Ross Morris - August 1995 - August 1996



The highest membership honor the association can bestow is that of LIFE membership. The people listed have been designated Life Members of APCO International, an honor reserved for those who are members of any membership classification of APCO, who have made significant contributions toward the objectives of APCO International above and beyond the chapter level. Life Members have served a full term as President of APCO International or made at least five major accomplishments that have contributed significantly to the betterment of the association. Congratulations to our Washington State Life Members ~


Cory Ahrens - WSCJTC Telecommunicator Program

Millie Tirapelle - RiverCom 911

Kevin Kearns - iXP Corporation

Chris Fischer - Valley Communications

Alan Hull - Washington DOT

Phyllis Hull - Port of Seattle

Ross Morris - Washington DOT

*Jimmie Hocutt - State Emergency Management Division

*Richard Quantz ADCOMM Engineering

Peggy Fouts – Grays Harbor Communications 2014 See Photo

* Indicates deceased Life Members



To be eligible for the honor, a member must have maintained membership for 10 or more consecutive years, made three significant contributions to APCO, including one at the Association level, and should be a member in good standing at the time of the award. The designation of "Senior" may be added to any category of individual membership. Senior membership grade is approved by the Board of Officers after a nomination and recommendation process is completed. 


Peggy Fouts Grays Harbor E9-1-1 2011 

Jim Quackenbush CAPCOM 2010

Wayne Wantland Yakima Public Safety Communications 2008 

Mark Morgan - Valley Communications 2008 

Chris Fischer - Valley Communications

Millie Tirapelle - RiverCom 911

Ross Morris - WA Dept of Transportation

Cory Ahrens - WSCJTC Telecommunicator Program

Stephanie Fritts - Pacific County Emergency Management Agency 2014

Richard Kirton - CENCOM 2014

Kevin Kearns - iXP Corporation

Deb Flewelling – King County E911 Program Office 2014




++ means both APCO International Life Member and WA APCO-NENA Chapter Life Member

* means deceased


Cory Ahrens ++

Received the WA State Chapter Life member honor in June of 2013. Cory began her career in 1972 as a clerk with the Cowlitz County Sheriff’s Office. In 1974 she began her dispatching career as a dispatcher with Kelso PD. In 1976, Cory was one of the original dispatchers with the newly formed Cowlitz Communications Center. In 1992, Cory moved to the Seattle area and became an Assistant Program Manager for the King County E9-1-1 office. In 1994 Cory returned to dispatch with Bellevue Eastside until 1998 when became the Records Custodian for Valley Com. While at Eastside, Cory also became one of the first Telecommunicator Instructors for the newly formed Telecommunicator Program which was sponsored by the WA State Chapter of APCO. In 1999, Cory accepted the position as Telecommunicator Project Manager at CJTC. Since taking over the program, Cory has raised the quality of classes presented and the level of the cadre. Cory’s leadership has brought nationwide recognition to the program for WA State and has been instrumental in the career of thousands of Telecommunicators. ++ She is also an APCO International Life Member


Joe Blaschka, Jr. 

Principal, ADCOMM Engineering Company. Started ADCOMM Engineering in 1979 to provide public safety communications engineering. Since then has completed over 400 projects and 40 dispatch centers, mostly in the northwest. APCO member since early 1980's.


Bradley Davis 

Department of Transportation – Radio Manager


Peggy Fouts ++

Received the WA State Chapter Life Member honor in June of 2013. Peggy began her career in public safety in 1990 as the clerk for Gray’s Harbor Communications Center. The next two years, Peggy worked with Millie Tirapelli to oversee the consolidation of 39 public safety agencies into a single countywide PSAP and dispatch agency which opened in February 1992. Peggy was promoted to Deputy Director in 1995 and Director in 2001. Peggy’s dedication to this Chapter and 9-1-1 Industry is unmatched. She has served this chapter in every role; from West-side Member at large, President, Executive Council Representative, committee chair and member of various committees for our Chapter and APCO International and is currently the Western Region representative on the APCO International Board of Directors. Peggy is known for her generous spirit, her tenacity, meticulous approach and memory for detail and her ability to get the job done. Peggy is truly an inspiration to tenured and new members. Peggy’s work at the Chapter and State level has positively impacted our industry and will continue to influence our future. ++ She is also an APCO International Life Member


Stephanie Fritts See Photo

Pacific County  Chief Deputy for 911 and Emergency Management Stephanie Fritts oversees all aspects of the Pacific County Communications Agency (PACCOM).  Stephanie began her career in emergency services as an emergency medical technician, working for local ambulance and fire services.  In 1999 Stephanie began to work as the Chief Deputy for 911 and began to become involved in the Washington Chapter of APCO and NENA, serving as the Chapter's Westside Member-at-Large, Chapter Conference Chairperson, President-Elect, and President.  Following the conclusion of her term as Chapter President, Stephanie served as the Washington State Representative to the APCO International Executive Council.  She has also worked on seve3ral local and national committees.  Within the local jurisdiction, Stephanie developed policy, and executed multiple technology improvements, initiatives and implementations.


John Gasser

WSP Bellevue as Station Manager. Two time past Chapter President.


Alan Hull ++

Retired Director, Office of Wireless Technology, Washington State Department of Transportation. Alan has served Apco since 1964 in a variety of capacities. Among his many accomplishments, he was instrumental in directing and organizing the nation's first statewide 800 MHz mobile trunking system for the Department of Transportation. He has received numerous awards for his contributions to emergency communications. ++He is also an APCO International Life Member.


Phyllis Hull ++

Retired Director, Port of Seattle. Phyllis faithfully served this chapter for 25 years including 2 terms as President, a member of the Executive Committee and other national and chapter committees. She has set an example for all of us in her dedication and support of 911 needs. ++She is also an APCO International Life Member.

Richard Kirton See Photo

Director, CENCOM


Dave Magnenat*

Dave Magnenat was a member of APCO since February 1993. Dave served in the Presidential series from 2000 to 2003. Dave started his public safety career as an entry level employee working as a Supervisor before becoming the Deputy Director at CENCOM in Kitsap County. Dave then worked as a Senior Consultant at ADCOMM Engineering. In addition to his Presidential service, Dave served as a NENA Treasurer, he presented at Conference and Forums contributing to the development of countless public safety communications professionals. We lost Dave in 2014. Dave’s life was full because of what he gave to others – through his knowledge, his smile, and his laughter.* Indicates deceased Life Members


John McCormick

35 years for WSP in Union Gap


Mark Morgan 

Retired Assistant Director Mark Morgan, Valley Communications Center. He oversaw Operations, including Valley Communications Center’s renowned emergency call answering and dispatching services which are modeled across the nation. As a key member of the Management Team, Assistant Director Morgan held several positions throughout his time at the agency; Interim Director, Assistant Director, Accreditation Manager, Operations Manager, Team Supervisor, Dispatcher and Call Receiver. He contributed to design and construction of their new building opened in 2002, yearly budget development, technology initiatives and policy recommendations. He began his service in 1990, retiring in 2010 after serving 20 years. Mark served our chapter well as our Treasurer 1998-2001 and President 2004-2005. 


Ross Morris ++

Retired Department of Transportation Commercial Vehicle Information Systems Manager Ross Morris has been an APCO member since 1971. During this time Ross served our chapter as the Westside Member at Large and in 1994 was honored with the Maurice Courtright Award, one of this chapter’s highest awards. He was elected as President to APCO National in 1995. During his term he was instrumental in promoting Telecommunications Training Standards for Public Safety. This effort led to the foundation of the National Public Safety Telecommunicator Training Standards which are used today. Ross is an APCO International Life Member an honor reserved for members who have made significant contributions to the organization. Ross’s passion and dedication has encouraged others to be involved in APCO and his vision of the future continues to be reflected in this chapter. ++He is also an APCO International Life Member.


Jim “JQ” Quackenbush

Jim Quackenbush received the Washington State Chapter Life Member honor in June 2015. Jim will complete 42 years in the Communications Profession in October 2015, that included 12 years as an Air Traffic Controller from 1969 through 1981. He moved into 9-1-1 Public Safety in 1985 as the Director of Pierce County Fire Comm for three years. He was hired as the Director of CAPCOM/TCOMM in Olympia in 1988 where he will retire from in January 2016. Jim is what he describes as an innovator, and someone that wants to challenge the future rather than being content that things work OK the way they are. While he’s proud of the many accomplishments that have come to reality, he credits his mentors and his amazing administrative, technical and operations staff as the ones that deserve the recognition. He also believes that without the participation, commitment and drive from the many members of APCO and NENA, Washington would not have become leader in the nation.

He remembers early APCO meetings that included 10 people, that have grown to meetings and conferences that include hundreds. Jim is the last of the five founding members of Washington State NENA Chapter still within our profession.

He has overseen and been a leader in many major projects including; turning up E9-1-1 at Fire Comm; accommodating an emergency move of LESA that was an 8 position Center in Tacoma after their facility was washed out of their location into what was designed as a 4 position Comm Center at Fire Comm while a new location was built; moving CAPCOM’s operational 9-1-1 dispatch center into a new building without the loss of a single 9-1-1 call; completing 4 major 9-1-1 system replacements while at TCOMM, installation of a new CAD system; initiating legislation that authorized the creation of Washington’s Statewide E9-1-1 Program; was the first PSAP to move to and prove the viability of the Washington State current ESInet; initiated and installed the first geodiverse NG911 telephone system with TCOMM and CRESA. 

Jim has worked continually to be a 9-1-1 and Communications trail blazer within Washington State, and in doing so, to help others learn and understand in the process. As the NENA representative he has strived to ensure policies and direction were fair to the smallest as well as the largest of counties. He’s shared that he is proud to have been given that opportunity, and will cherish the many friendships he has been blessed with.


Sandy Saffell

Telecommunications career began Washington State Patrol in 1975. Joined APCO in 1976; elected as Secretary-Treasurer in 1977 and served several years; served as President and other positions throughout the years. During 24 years with State Patrol and over 3 years as a 9-1-1 Director, enjoyed instructor staff positions at Washington State Patrol Academy and Criminal Justice Training Commission and managing Telecommunications Centers.


KD Seeley

KD Seeley received the Washington State Chapter Life Member honor in June of 2015. KD retired as Deputy Director from Thurston County Department of Communications after 33 years in public safety. KD has been a member since October 2001. During this time, KD was asked to chair the Chapter Services Committee and worked with a great group of committee members to increase attendance at Chapter meetings/dinners which has continued to grow through the years through the hard work and effort of the committee. KD loved working with the APCO-NENA members and was selected as the Westside Member at Large Board member. From there KD was selected as the President Elect and moved forward as the WA APCO NENA President in June 2010 serving the 3 year presidential series from 2009-2012. KD’s goals for APCO-NENA were 1) to initiate legislation to lower the retirement age for telecommunicators to be on par with other public safety responders. She worked to recruit members from unions and employees groups to take ownership in this goal, recognizing that at her own agency, telecommunicators did not retire from this profession. And, 2) to implement a mentoring program to support professional development and growth in the APCO-NENA organization and for personal growth. After serving as Past President, in January 2012 KD was elected to the position of Washington representative to the APCO International Executive Council. Through all this, KD has been an active member of the Chapter’s Legislative Committee and worked on the Modernization Initiative in 2010.


Duncan Stewart

Worked for King County Public Works.


Millie Tirapelle ++

Received the WA State Chapter Life member honor in June of 2013. Millie spent more than 40 years in the 9-1-1 business starting as a dispatcher in California and in 1979 began her management career as the Manager of the Stockton CA PD Communications Center. In 1990 Mille moved to Washington and became the Director of Grays Harbor 911; in 2001 she accepted the Directors position at Southern OR Regional Communications center before returning to WA in 2006 as Director of RiverCom 911. Millie retired from Rivercom in 2012. Millie is recognized as one of our Past President’s, committee chair and member of various committees. One of Millie’s strengths was as our Executive Council Representative. In this role; Millie not only kept the chapter informed of the activities of APCO International but she ensured the WA Chapter was involved and increased our standing as a chapter at the international level. ++She is also an APCO International Life Member.

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