MADERA COUNTY – For the third time in four years, Madera County Sheriff’s Office dispatcher Mike Young has been named Dispatcher of the Year.
Young signed on with the Madera County Sheriff’s Office in March of 2006, and was previously honored in 2013 as Dispatcher of the Year and co-Dispatcher of the Year in 2011.
Young came to the department with a background in EMS and quickly proved to be perfectly suited for the position. Within his first two years, he received specialized training to serve the County as a tactical dispatcher for emergency call-outs that require someone with his knowledge and skills to work in the field, serving emergency personnel on location of an incident.
“We still remember the impact Mike had and the impression he made when he was barely a year into his job,” remembers Sheriff Anderson.
While fielding over 100 calls for service that night, Young answered a call for help at around 8:30 p.m. With a career in EMS, Mike knew he had to stay on the line with this individual for as long as it would take to make sure he would be OK.
While juggling other calls for service, Mike kept the person on the line, and despite the mounting pressure, maintained a calm resolve, ultimately helping deputies successfully resolve the delicate situation.
That one call for service ended two hours later on a positive note, and that, Mike insisted, was his reward. He had just saved someone’s life.
Dispatch centers are considered the artery of law enforcement. It is ultimately their job to handle every request for service, juggle units in the field, manage response times and maintain composure at all times, for both the deputies and the citizens in need.
The disposition of a dispatcher in many ways is much like that of an assignment editor in the newsroom. Anything can happen when you least expect it. Situations can be hair-raising and intense. It takes a special kind of person who can keep a sense of calm during moments of crisis, in order to successfully complete his or her duties, and sometimes, as in this case, actually influence the outcome. The job is often thankless and the rewards few.
Young’s positive and calm mindset continues nearly a decade later. He is still juggling multiple tasks with tremendous enthusiasm and pride.
Mike Young was recognized during a dispatcher’s banquet held in Hanford on Apr. 13.