WEST NEWBURY — Friends, family and colleagues of West Newbury’s lead dispatcher, Lee Ann Delp, gathered in the Town Annex yesterday to see the 15-year veteran receive the 19th annual Jeff Grossman 911 Award.
Established by Grossman’s colleagues, the award is presented each year to one individual in the state who exemplifies the staunch dedication to public safety communications that Grossman did during his life, said Robert Watkinson, the president of the foundation that oversees the annual award.
Grosssman’s son, Dan, described his dad as somebody who “wasn’t about ego or personal gain. He was somebody who recognized the bigger picture.” Grossman’s widow, as well as several past award recipients, also attended Thursday’s ceremony.
Delp was presented with a plaque, several dispatcher pins, and $1,500 to cover expenses at a public safety conference for the Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials (APCO) in Anaheim, Calif. this summer.
After receiving her award, Delp thanked her family and police Chief Lisa Holmes for their support and acknowledged her co-workers who covered shifts for her so that she could be free to handle her other public safety commitments.
After working for 14 years with her husband Ron as publishers of the former weekly newspaper, the West Newbury News, Delp launched her career as part-time public safety dispatcher in West Newbury in 1998. She quickly earned a full-time spot and eventually was named lead dispatcher in 2006. In 2012 she was appointed the town’s emergency management director as well.
Since the beginning of her career, Delp has served as a representative for smaller public safety departments on numerous state 911 committees including Emergency Medical Dispatch, NextGen 911, and Wireless Direct. In 2010, she was elected secretary of the Massachusetts Communications Supervisors Association and later that year was named the group’s president.
As president, she has “spent countless hours, nights, and weekends” enlisting membership and educating them on emergency medical dispatch, quality assurance and improvement, according to a written program provided at the ceremony.