KALISPELL, Mont. - Two Flathead dispatchers were honored this week for their contributions the community as part of National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week. Whether its a search and rescue mission or a fire, dispatchers Anita Kvapil and Nikki Stephan are "first" first responders, guiding people through the very toughest of situations.
"[I] helped a two-year-old start breathing again," said Stephan. " I went through the process of helping a mother through CPR and we got her two-year-old breathing."
"It's a lot of responsibility, it's very challenging to get the information to people and get the appropriate agencies to respond," said Kvapil.
911 Center Manager Michelene Provo said they've handled the responsibility with ease, that's why the center has awarded Kvapil with Dispatcher of the Year and Stephan as Rookie of the Year.
"They both go above and beyond normal duties to what a dispatcher does," said Provo. "Very proactive, very much team players."
Stephan had voted for Kvapil, who trained her a lot last year.
"She is an amazing person," said Stephan, "an amazing dispatcher. She puts so much heart into this job."
Kvapil had similar things to say about Stephan and her dedication to a sometimes stressful career.
"She has jut done an excellent job," said Kvapil. "She's a natural at this line of work and I hope that she stays in it for a long time."
The pair were honored to be recognized for what they deem "a calling," a job they feel is rewarding whenever they walk through the door.
"Every day we work, its a different day with different challenges," said Kvapil.
"It's a good pat on the back for me," said Stephan. "I feel like I'm doing a good job and makes me want to say here even longer."
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