Senior Dispatcher Richard Swink of the Collier County Sheriff ’s Office has been selected as the2017 Dispatcher of the Year by the Florida Sheriffs Association.
The award, presented each year at the FSA winter conference, is given to one commendable communications officer who has demonstrated exemplary service, professionalism, and commitment in the line of duty.
Deputy Swink has exemplified these qualities in the workplace since he was hired by the agency to work for the jail in 2008, and by 2009, he moved over to the Communications Center. Throughout the years, one of his skills that constantly stands out is his ability to handle stressful calls with ease.
On August 8, 2016, Deputy Swink talked first responders through a bomb threat at a major hotel on Marco Island. Quickly dispatching the call, he calmly controlled radio traffic as he provided updates to firefighters. Weeks later, on August 25, 2016, he helped save the life of a 35-year-oldCollier County resident by carefully guiding a 911 caller through CPR instruction until first responders arrived to the scene. The Communications Manager listening to the call noted that Deputy Swink guided the caller with compassion and empathy, encouraging them not to give up.
About a month later, Deputy Swink helped save the life of yet another Collier County resident, this time a 33-yearoldmale, after the man’s coworker called and reported he was unconscious and not breathing after being struck by lightning. Again, Deputy Swink guided the caller through CPR for several minutes while first responders traveled to the scene. Thanks to his guidance, the patient’s pulse had returned by the time the ambulance reached the hospital.
When he’s not handling emergency calls himself, Deputy Swink is busy training new dispatchers. A unique training style, he has demonstrated what it is to be a great role model, and leader, for his fellow dispatchers.
“Richard is a terrific asset to the Collier County Sheriff ’s Office,” said Sheriff Kevin Rambosk. “He has proven his dedication to the job and his efforts are invaluable to our community at large. He is most deserving of this award for his job in keeping Collier County a great place and a safe place.”