Communications Specialist First Class Megan Burton of the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office was selected as the 2024 Dispatcher of the Year by the Florida Sheriffs Association during its winter meeting of Florida Sheriff’s. Each year, this award is presented at the FSA Winter Conference to a telecommunicator who has demonstrated exceptional service in the line of duty.
Communications Specialist Megan Burton began her career with the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office in 2015. She currently holds the rank of Communications Specialist First Class and is a well-respected Communications Training Officer as well as a member of the Telecommunicator Emergency Response Taskforce.
Megan has received several life-saving awards throughout her career, but the most recent occurred on July 9, 2023. On that day Megan answered a 9-1-1 call from a caller requesting an ambulance for her husband who was mowing the grass and had passed out. Megan immediately started asking pertinent questions regarding his condition and was able to determine that the husband had suffered cardiac arrest. Megan relied on her training and knew that CPR needed to be started as quickly as possible. The caller told Megan that she didn’t know how to do CPR, so Megan assured her that she would guide her through the process and provided step-by-step instructions while EMS and the Sheriff’s Office responded, counting aloud to ensure proper compression rate. Due to Megan’s ability to determine the patient was in cardiac arrest and her guiding the caller through CPR instructions, the husband survived.
Megan’s passion for helping others shines through her work as a Communications Training Officer. Her creativity allows her to think outside of the box, offering various ways to train. When she notices somebody struggling with specific tasks, she adapts and finds alternative instructional methods.
Earlier this year, one of Megan’s trainees nominated Megan for the Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials Trainer of the Year award. Within the nomination, the trainee praised Megan for her guidance, creativity and ability to stay calm during stressful situations. Megan sets the bar high but provides all of her trainees with the tools necessary to reach their goals.
“It is my honor to nominate Communication Specialist First Class Megan Burton for the 2024 Florida Sheriffs Association Dispatcher of the Year” said Flagler County Sheriff Rick Staly in her nomination. “Megan consistently exhibits exceptional work performance and an extraordinary dedication to her role as a public safety dispatcher. Her calm demeanor has helped countless callers during times of distress, her attention to detail has helped keep our deputies safe and her dedication to helping others has allowed new dispatchers to develop their careers.”
After the award was presented Sheriff Staly added, “Megan is an outstanding representative of 9-1-1 dispatchers throughout Florida and exemplifies what these invisible heroes do every day.”
This is the second time in three years a Flagler County Sheriff’s Office Dispatcher has been recognized as FSA Dispatcher of the Year. As Sheriff Staly commented on this feat, “Our community should rest well knowing they are served by the best and well-trained 9-1-1 dispatchers in the state, ready for any emergency they may have. I am very proud of our team that Megan represents so professionally.”