Past winners urge control room stars to seize the chance to shine in national awards

APD Control Room Awards 2019: Megan Brunt, Avon and Somerset Police, Special Recognition Award for Bravery and Courage.

Megan Brunt was one of the stars of the 2019 APD Control Room Awards, with judges hailing her as a ‘credit to her force and community’. And now, as entries open for the 2020 awards, she has urged members of the control rooms community to celebrate the life-changing and life-saving work they do in the service of society.

Avon and Somerset Police Call Handler Megan said, “I was really happy to receive my award and I accepted it on behalf of my team. I was so happy to be at the awards with the other nominees because they had all done amazing things. It made me feel proud of what I do.

“I urge people to get their nominations in now. It’s good to be recognised for what we do and the people we help. We’re the first point of contact for the public, so our role is an absolutely vital part of the emergency services.”

Megan won the Special Recognition Award for Bravery and Courage in the 2019 awards after putting herself in harm’s way to help save the life of a teenage girl at risk of suicide and prevent a drink driver from endangering motorway users. The judges said Megan’s actions showed ‘considerable courage and remarkable initiative’.

Now, nominations for the APD Control Room Awards 2020 are open and Megan encouraged members of control room teams to make an extra effort to get involved.

The APD Control Room Awards are run by APD Communications, which develops critical, life-saving software used by the police and other emergency services organisations across the UK, as well as transport and aviation operations nationally and internationally.

Now in their third year, the awards are the only accolades of their kind to recognise the critical, behind-the-scenes work of individuals and teams in this way.

The 2019 awards attracted almost 400 nominations from more than 60 organisations dedicated to serving and protecting the public.

The 2019 awards also saw the Team of the Year accolade presented to Durham Constabulary’s B Relief control room team.

The judges said the team ‘demonstrated exceptional team spirit in very difficult circumstances, technically and operationally’, providing vital support to a neighbouring force and its communities while continuing to deliver services to the Durham Constabulary and local people.

Inspector Kevin Salter, who was in charge of the winning team, said, “These awards are vital in recognising people who an unbelievable job.

“When my team won this award, they were totally overwhelmed by it all and it went a long way to motivating them and making them feel appreciated and rewarded for what they do.

“I would encourage every supervisor to nominate their teams to ensure they get the recognition they deserve. There is nothing else like these awards that recognise control room employees and that is why they are so important.”

APD Commercial Director Rhiannon Beeson said previous winners of the Control Room Awards illustrate perfectly the extraordinary professionalism, dedication, compassion and resilience that employees in control rooms demonstrate on a daily basis.

She said, “Their stories are both humbling and inspiring and we feel privileged to have the opportunity to give them the recognition they so richly deserve.

“They clearly feel the Control Rooms Awards perform an important role and are keen to encourage other members of the control rooms community to participate in them.

“They provide a valuable opportunity to promote the amazing but largely unseen work of employees in these operations and the vital service they provide to members of the public and society as a whole.”

Entries for the APD Control Room Awards 2020 are open until 6 January and are aimed at celebrating outstanding achievement, commitment and bravery by control room employees working for emergency services and public safety organisations, rail, transport and other critical control rooms. The awards ceremony will take place at Jury’s Inn, Hinckley Island, Leicestershire, on 5 March 2020.

The full list of APD Control Room Awards 2020 categories is:

  • Award for Services to the Public
  • Lifetime Achievement Award
  • Control Room Dispatcher of the Year
  • Leader of the Year
  • Control Room Call Taker of the Year
  • Community Champion Award
  • Young Achiever of the Year
  • Special Recognition for Bravery and Courage Award
  • Team of the Year
  • Control Room Ambassador of the Year
  • The John Gilhooly Unsung Hero Award (dedicated posthumously to John Gilhooly who served in the Scottish Ambulance Service control room for almost 30 years)