TCWeek
2020 Telecommunicator of the Year – Sustained Performance – Sharice Clark

2020 Telecommunicator of the Year – Sustained Performance – Sharice Clark

Sharice had another amazing year at Kitsap 911!  Her performance was exemplary in the following elements:

Interpersonal Conduct – She is professional, tactful, diplomatic, cooperative, and respectful. She takes responsibility for her communication.   Sharice has an uncanny ability to keep confusing, varied, and quickly changing elements to a detail straight in her mind, and therefore straight for our User agencies. Her radio communication style is calm and effortless, forward thinking and thorough. Sharice is confident and knowledgeable, and that certainly is apparent on the other end of the radio.

In telephone communication with our User agencies, Sharice is professional and personable. She is quick to get answers and help any and all callers regardless of agency, as she makes it a point to know what details are going on in the entire county, not only the channel she is working.

In her lead role, Sharice interacts more with management and the command staff of our user agencies.  Sharice is confident and effective in her communication, not letting a title interfere with communication. 

When working as a CTO, Sharice is a clear and direct communicator.  She leaves no room for misunderstanding when providing instruction or correction. 

Accountability – She knows her scope and works within it.  She seeks guidance and direction when needed. She adheres to policy.  She demonstrates integrity.  She has a high level of self-awareness, and is cognizant of her strengths and weaknesses.

Knowledge – She has a great working knowledge of policies and procedures.  She also shares her knowledge with others consistently.  This makes her a valuable resource on shift.  Employees look to her for guidance.  I often hear her referring the employee to read a policy after she has given them direction.  When she is unsure of a policy, she will look for the information before acting if there is time permitting. 

Skills and Abilities – Her aptitude was scored as “Role Model” because her skillset in all areas of her qualification are well in excess of the job standard. She is able to multitask, prioritize, manage her stress, manage her time and tasks, as well as use all of the required equipment.  She is also effective with her communication.

Quality of Work – Her execution of tasks is well in excess of the standard as well.  She has a low error rate overall.  In fact, she is so attentive to her work, she often discovers errors made by others.

Her performance file has seven notes of appreciation and praise for her work just within the last year.  While seven may not seem like a lot outside the dispatch world, it is amazing in our world. Commonly “thank you” is overlooked due to everything else surrounding a significant event.

Sharice was also voted as the Employee of the Quarter (EOQ) for the second the 2nd Quarter of 2020!  Sharice was nominated for consistently going above and beyond to help out whenever she sees an opportunity.

The Merriam-Webster definition of teamwork: “work done by several associates with each doing a part but all subordinating personal prominence to the efficiency of the whole”. Synonyms include collaboration, cooperation, and coordination.  Sharice is the epitome of this definition.

All dispatchers, call receivers and supervisors alike feel the benefit of having Sharice on shift.

Cooperation: Sharice is the first one to volunteer to assist another dispatcher without compromising the duties she has with her own channel.  Sharice sees a need and she jumps in to fill it. 

Coordination: Sharice will take on time-taking tasks, relieving the pressure on dispatchers working high priority or busy events. She will make phone calls, enter and verify data, read through and clarify details (with and without being asked), as well as any dispatcher requests. When Sharice is working your shift, you can feel confident that you will be supported, she will keep an ear out for you, and that you have a highly skilled dispatcher on-hand that is giving of her talents to support her team.

A co-worker recognized Sharice specifically for her teamwork:

“The radio was at times overwhelmingly busy with detectives out with multiple stolen vehicles and running lots of data. There was a large amount of MCT messages from the units asking for various call and things to be done.

Every time I asked for assistance form the room, Sharice was the one to answer. She made multiple calls, verified data entries, and more.

I would not have been able to keep up with the amount of traffic and requests if it were not for her assistance.”

Collaboration: Sharice’s room awareness extends to the Shift Supervisor. She was recognized for assisting a Shift Supervisor who had a very heavy workload, offering to and completing several tasks, alleviating the pressure on the Shift Supervisor. While this incident was officially recognized, this type of action is not unique.

Kitsap 911 is fortunate to have a number of exceptional employees on the dispatch floor. A standout has been Sharice, with customers of all kinds (User Agency, operational staff/co-workers, citizens alike), commenting and making known their appreciation for her outstanding work.

Sharice began her career at Kitsap 911 as a stand out. The writing was on the wall early on in her time here as she was able to comprehend and put into motion necessary skills that are not only book learned but gifts that some people have. Sharice is a big picture thinker with an incredible grasp of the details. Sharice can quickly see several steps ahead in her details and that speaks to her ability to continually demonstrated Kitsap 911’s core value of ensuring our responders are safe.

Sharice is a model telecommunicator, demonstrating customer service, team work, exemplary efficiency, split-ear that is nearly unmatched and openness to do recognize what is needed to help her user agency members, team members, citizens, supervisors and the center as a whole.

I’ve heard it said that the decision to choose one person for the Sustained Performance Award must be difficult, fraught with questions and comparisons. While I would not like to be in that position on a normal basis, I find it quite easy to ask that you consider Sharice Clark for the Telecommunicator of the Year for Sustained Performance because she is unique in that she excels in multiple disciplines…at the same time. If we were lucky, we would figure out how to clone her.

Sharice has been with Kitsap 911 for over 5 years.  She has had no previous public safety experience.

Kitsap 911 is the primary PSAP for Kitsap County, with a population of 297,000. We dispatch for seven law enforcement agencies and six fire agencies. Additionally, we dispatch for Port Gamble Natural Resources and Kitsap Animal Control. We have good relationships with and provide mutual aid for the Washington State Patrol , three local military bases (Naval Base Kitsap Bangor, Naval Base Kitsap Bremerton and Naval Base Kitsap Keyport), as well as the four surrounding counties (King, Mason, Pierce, and Jefferson).

The communications center is a second home to approximately 78 employees; this includes Information Services Technicians, Radio Technicians and Administration, and we collaborate with the Department of Emergency Management, which shares our facility.

At any given time, there are as many as 5 Primary Call Receivers, 4 Law Enforcement dispatchers, 2 Fire & EMS dispatchers, an Assistant Supervisor, and possibly a Shift Supervisor working the operations floor.

Under the direction of the assigned supervisor, the Public Safety Telecommunicator II learns about reception and transmission of E9-1-1 (Enhanced 911 system) telephone and radio emergency medical, fire, and law enforcement service calls, as well as processes calls and complaints from the public. Using a computerized telephone system and sophisticated Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) system, Public Safety Telecommunicator II deal with sensitive information in a discreet and professional manner and handle multiple requests at one time, prioritizing them according to the nature of the request for service.

Public Safety Communications Lead – Sharice is a fully qualified call-receiver, and police, fire, and EMS dispatcher. When working in this capacity she performs the critical public safety function of receiving and transmitting (Enhanced) 911 telephone and radio emergency medical, fire, and law enforcement service calls. Public Safety Telecommunicator IIs evaluate information to determine jurisdiction, equipment, and personnel to be dispatched. This role is responsible for relaying calls and tracking pertinent radio traffic in line with policy.  They deal with sensitive information in a discreet and professional manner and handle multiple requests at one time, prioritizing them according to the nature of the request for service. Public Safety Telecommunicator II’s run, interpret, and relay DOL, ACCESS, and NCIC information as requested by field units countless times per shift.  As a Kitsap 911 dispatcher, Sharice is also required to simultaneously answer and enter 911 calls while working a radio. As a Lead, she works in the role of the supervisor when no supervisor is on shift.  She is responsible for monitoring all operations activities, providing direction as needed, and referring necessary information to a supervisor.

Sharice is also a certified training officer (CTO).  The responsibility of the CTO is to provide one-on-one floor training to CENCOM employees in training status (ex: PCR, LED, and Fire). The CTO provides instruction and direction in their daily tasks and is ultimately responsible for the performance of the trainee when under their direction. Thorough documentation of the trainee’s performance is completed on a daily basis.  As a member of the Training Group at Kitsap 911, CTO’s are expected to set the standard. They are expected to be a leader, and are viewed as such by your peers. They play a huge role in developing the next generation of dispatchers, trainers, and supervisors.

In addition, Sharice is involved in several other groups and committees including:

  • WA-TERT- Telecommunicator Emergency Response Taskforce (TERT). TERT is the concept of communications-specific mutual aid between PSAPs to provide trained PSAP personnel during emergency situations. 
  • Disaster Preparedness Committee. The Disaster Preparedness Committee performs documented tests of our backup communications site and backup equipment monthly, conducts quarterly/annual safety building inspection, inventories of disaster supplies annually, and rotates the emergency water supply biannually. 

Public Education Committee. The Public Education Committee is responsible for educating the public, user agencies, and co-workers on the proper use of 9-1-1, when to call and new technology.  On average, the committee does 2 events a month talking to civic and service groups, scouting groups and school groups (pre-schools and day care centers as well.)  The Kitsap County Fair is one of the largest events the group is involved in along with at least three other safety fairs throughout the year.