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New Hampshire Area Dispatcher Receives Award For Supporting Wildfire Response

Contact(s): Evan Burks, (603) 536-6215


Campton, NH — (December 6, 2018) New England is about as far away from the recent tragic fires in California as one could get. Nonetheless, the Northeastern Interagency Dispatch Center (NECC) plays a critical role in supporting emergency response to wildfires across the country. This summer alone, NECC mobilized over 110 Forest Service fire related personnel to critical incidents in 16 different states.

Dispatchers are an integral part of the wildland fire community and all-risk operations. A dispatcher sits behind a computer console, working sometimes 12-16 hour shifts, dispatching for multiple agencies for nation-wide emergency response. Sound easy? Imagine multiple calls coming in, talking with incidents across the country, dispatching resources, logging each call, making travel arrangements, and tracking resources to make sure that people arrive on time and get home safely – all at the same time. Talk about multi-tasking! There is a reason why dispatchers are often referred to as “the cog in the wheel” of wildland fire.

Recently, the Eastern Area Dispatch Working Team announced that Donald Tucker, Deputy NECC Center Manager, had been selected to receive the 2018 Excellence in Dispatch Award. Tucker was nominated by Molly Campbell, NECC Center Manager (U.S. Forest Service) and Brett Bachmen, Deployment Coordinator (FDNY). Don received the award for exemplifying a high standard of excellence in professional dispatch and coordination procedures.

Donald Tucker, Deputy NECC Center Manager

Donald Tucker, Deputy NECC Center Manager

“Don Tucker is an incredible asset to this center and to every person and agency we provide service to,” said Molly Campbell, NECC Center Manager. “Whether he is working with our French speaking partners in Quebec, Canada or our partners in the Southern Wildlife Refuges of Maryland and anywhere in between, Don is always pleasant to talk with,” said Campbell. “Even during extremely busy and stressful times he is professional, respectful, and diligent in what he is doing,” added Campbell. 

Tucker, an employee of the State of New Hampshire, is the primary radio communications dispatcher for Forest Service wildland fires, prescribed fire activities, and safety check-in’s on the Green Mountain and Finger Lakes National Forests. He is the lead communications dispatcher assisting with Forest Health flights, Civil Air Patrol flights for the State of New Hampshire, and provides logistics for local daily situation reports and resource availability lists.

NECC was created in 2002 with the mission of providing interagency support in the mobilization of incident resources for the agencies of the Northeastern Forest Fire Protection Compact (7 State agencies) as well as participating federal agencies. NECC operates under a signed cooperative agreement between the Northeastern Forest Fire Protection Compact (NFFPC), U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Indian Affairs and the National Park Service. States included are Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont and the Fire Department New York (FDNY), and the provinces of New Brunswick, Newfoundland & Labrador, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island, Quebec.

The principle mission of NECC is to provide safe, cost-effective and timely coordinated responses of resources to wildland fires and other emergency management all risk activities both locally and nationally. In a busy fire season NECC mobilizes upwards of 900 resources from their dispatch office located at the White Mountain National Forest Headquarters in Campton, New Hampshire to support battling wildfires.

 

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https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/whitemountain/news-events/?cid=FSEPRD605016