Twelve Stearns County 911 Dispatchers Awarded Medal of Merit
ST. CLOUD-- Twelve Stearns County 911 dispatchers were awarded the Medal of Merit Tuesday for their work during the Crossroads Mall attack.
Five of the 12 were schedule to work on the night of September 17 and the other seven came in without being called.
Zachery Braegelmann, Leah Held, Katie Dusing, Joel Richter, Cassandra Goltz, Aaron Rosenberger, DeAnna Heinen, Lora Swanson, Dawn Heines, Joanne Weeres, Carla Otte and Brent Bechtold all earned the Medal of Merit for their dedication to safety.
Stearns County Sheriff Lieutenant Bob Dickhaus says the dispatchers passed information on to authorities as smoothly as possible during the attack.
“Their determination to keep first responders and the citizens of Stearns County safe during this chaotic and dangerous situation, is the reason for their Medals of Merit," says Dickhaus.
Over a nearly two hour period dispatchers handled over 250 incoming calls related to the attack. While answering the incoming calls, dispatchers also called nearby businesses to alert them of the dangerous situation and called emergency responders.
All except two dispatchers, Carla Otte and Brent Bechtold, were award the medal in person.