Shani Latif, Sales Director at Telent reflects on being part of the judging panel for the APD Control Room Awards.
Following a difficult year for many, APD Communications was able to hold its annual Control Room Awards earlier this month and saw more than 500 individuals across the UK honoured for their dedication, selflessness and bravery over the last twelve months. We are privileged to have been involved with these awards as a lead sponsor since the launch in 2017 and are proud to have been named as platinum sponsor for this year’s key initiative. All too often crucial control room teams are not recognised enough for their courageous actions.
It goes without saying that everyone at Telent would like to say a massive thank you to all those people working in the emergency services control room teams, these amazing individuals continue to work tirelessly to keep the public safe, and that has been particularly evident during the Coronavirus pandemic. Control room staff ensure the safety of the general public by making lifesaving, critical decisions to deploy and mobilise the emergency services, providing fundamental support to people when needed most.
Recognising unsung heroes
Under ‘normal’ circumstances working in a control room remains a demanding, intense, and frequently life-critical role. Whilst working in this fast-paced environment, you never know who or what will be on the other end of the next phone call when coupled with the demands of a global pandemic, the level of pressure has increased further. That is why extra recognition for these services is needed now more than ever before. Although the future is looking a lot more positive following the emergence of Covid vaccines, lower cases and fatalities, emergency services is still a 24/7 job, and the Control Room Awards recognise all employees who dedicate their lives to helping others.
Personally, last year was my first awards evening and I was very moved by the many inspirational stories behind the nominations. So much so that when the opportunity arose for me to join the judging panel, I jumped at the chance. In my first year as a judge at the Control Room Awards, it was an honour to get an insight into the experiences of so many amazing individuals up for nomination. Over the course of the judging activity, more than 500 control room employees, from more than 100 organisations in the UK and Ireland were bestowed with a pin badge of honour for being nominated. With the awards ceremony being virtual, it was heart-warming to see so many faces on one screen, although it was a shame not to celebrate their fantastic work in person!
Inspirational stories at the Control Room Awards
The quality, quantity and broad range of nominations was staggering, and with almost 200 nominations, the challenge remained to pick the finalists and category winners from an inspirational selection of candidates. Whilst being part of the judging panel required a lot of reading and some very difficult decision making, it was above all else a humbling and enlightening experience. Among all the nominees, I noticed how professionalism and dedication for the safety of the public shone through in each and every entry. Choosing the winners was incredibly difficult, because in my eyes, everybody deserved to be named a winner.
Among the chosen entries, it was inspiring to read the sacrifices made during this difficult year. Telent proudly sponsored the Young Achiever of the Year Award, and this was awarded to Ben Hawkins of East of England Ambulance Service, who has demonstrated continued passion and drive during the past year to raise awareness of mental health struggles and works tirelessly to help others on and off-duty.
The Special Recognition Award for Bravery and Courage went to Caitlin Brumby, at G4S in partnership with Lincolnshire Police, who became a call taker in a dedicated mission to help others after being involved in a serious road traffic accident.
All winners had such inspiring stories to tell, and we are extremely fortunate to be a part of such an important event that highlights the bravery and vital contribution of control room staff across the country.
View the full list of APD Control Room winners here: https://www.controlroomawards.com/event-news/2021winners