Meet the Candidate – Richard Kirton
Voting for three positions on the WA APCO-NENA Chapter Executive Board begins September 4, 2022, and ends at 5 pm on October 4th. As part of the election process, we publish candidate biographies.
Richard Kirton (incumbent) is running for APCO Treasurer.
Hi, I’m Richard Kirton and I’m running for reelection as your APCO treasurer. It has been an honor to serve on your chapter executive committee and it’s my hope you will give me an opportunity to continue this important work. For those of you who don’t know me I’m the director of Kitsap 911/CENCOM but I got my start as a Communications Officer (Dispatcher) at MACECOM and then worked the dispatch floor at Valley Com before moving to Kitsap.
I got involved in the chapter to give back to our profession and to the association that’s helped me so much in my career. Like many of you I didn’t really set out for a career in 911… I found my first job as a dispatcher almost by accident, but it didn’t take long for me to decide that 911 was going to be my career. I knew I wanted to “move up” but there weren’t a lot of tools out there to help me prepare. I had supportive bosses and worked for great agencies but through APCO I found training opportunities, mentors, leadership opportunities and everything else I needed to help me to be the best I could be and to advance my career. My main goal as your treasurer is to help the chapter remain financially stable and sustainable so that these same kinds of opportunities are available to telecommunicators, technicians, CTOs, and managers in our state, but personal development opportunities are only one piece of the picture. It’s a sad truth that our profession is still seen in many quarters of this country and even this state as a “clerical job.” Telecommunicators don’t enjoy the same recognition as other first responders even though the job is just as stressful and takes a heavy toll on both our physical and mental health. We have made progress but there’s still work to do! As a profession and as a chapter we need to continue to fight to secure early retirement for our telecommunicators. Again, for the chapter to do this work we need to be financially sustainable. As your treasurer I will continue to look for new and creative ways to keep this work funded. I hope you will vote to reelect me APCO Treasurer and that if you aren’t already involved in the chapter that you will find ways to get involved. Thank you!