Paradise Valley dispatcher named regional Smart Telecommunicator winner

Samantha Denning, a finalist for the Telecommu (photo by Paradise Valley Police Department)

Samantha Denning (photo by Paradise Valley Police Department)

Paradise Valley Police Department telecommunicator, Samantha Denning, was named this year’s fifth annual Smart Telecommunicator Awards western regional winner for an outstanding dedication to her job.

April is National 9-1-1 Education Month and the second full week is celebrated as National Public Safety Telecommunications Week.

With this in mind, the fifth annual Smart Telecommunicator Awards kicked-off last month, conducted by Rave Mobile Safety, creators of the acclaimed public safety network, Smart911.

Across the U.S., 9-1-1 call-takers and dispatchers were nominated by peers and individuals for leadership, performance, compassion for callers, ability to inspire co-workers and overall contributions to their Public Safety Answering Points, according to a press release.

According to the nomination submitted, Ms. Denning took a 9-1-1 call from a young woman reporting she was suicidal. Ms. Denning compassionately engaged the caller while also dispatching officers.

As the situation seemed to grow more dire and with officers not yet having arrived, Ms. Denning needed to act quickly. Hearing dogs in the background, she asked the caller who would care for the them if she was not there. This caused the woman to pause and wait for officers to arrive. Quick thinking, expertise and persistence saved the young woman’s life, the release stated.

RELATED STORY: Dispatcher named national award-finalist for life-saving efforts

The Smart Telecommunicator Awards are conducted by Rave Mobile Safety’s Smart911, the acclaimed national public safety service, in partnership with the Industry Council for Emergency Response Technologies and the Denise Amber Lee Foundation.

One national winner and three other regional winners were also announced. To learn about the other winners, visit:

In addition to the Smart Telecommunicator Award, Smart911 will present a donation of $500 to each winner’s charity of choice and $1,000 to the national winner’s charity. Ms. Denning has selected Concerns of Police Survivors to receive this donation.

“The job of a telecommunicator requires an individual to diffuse emergencies and avert tragedy, while maintaining their composure, at any given moment,” stated Tom Axbey, chief executive officer of Rave Mobile Safety, in the release. “Not everyone can succeed in these very challenging duties. We continue to be awestruck by the stories we hear of telecommunicators deft skills and going well above-and-beyond the normal call of duty.”

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