Texas to honor North Richland Hills dispatcher

A North Richland Hills dispatcher is among seven Texas emergency communications officers who are scheduled to be honored today with the state's highest award for exemplary work in handling a 911 call.

Dispatcher Carissa Katekaru will receive a Telecommunicator of the Year award from the Texas Commission on State Emergency Communications.

Katekaru earned the honor for her handling of a 911 call in March. A 9-year-old girl was in a car with her father when he had a seizure and the car wrecked. The girl used a cellphone to call 911 but did not know her location. Katekaru used the cellphone location and mapping tools to dispatch fire and police units.

The honors will be presented during a luncheon in Dallas hosted by the commission and the Texas chapter of the National Emergency Number Association.

The 2010 Team 9-1-1 Award of Merit will go to Belton County communications and Fort Hood communications for handling calls during the shooting rampage at Fort Hood on Nov. 5 when 13 people were killed and 30 wounded.

Several area dispatchers will receive Silent Hero awards. They are Stephanie Barnes, Irving police; Joel Brown, University of North Texas; Heather Cox, Cleburne police; Sandie Ferris, Grapevine police; Sheri Lemming, city of Arlington; Emila Love, Fort Worth police; Amber Munoz, MedStar EMS; Diane Skaggs, North Richland Hills police; Robin Thomas, Denton County Sheriff's Department; and Beverly Williams, Euless police.

In all, 62 dispatchers statewide will receive Silent Hero awards.

Domingo Ramirez Jr., 817-390-7763