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Local Dispatcher Honored For Work Done During Superstorm Sandy

(Fire Department chief dispatcher Michael Moore, left, applauds as Tanya Blackwell receives her award from fire commissioner Lloyd Ayers.  Credit: Michelle Durham)

(Fire Department chief dispatcher Michael Moore, left, applauds as Tanya Blackwell receives her award from fire commissioner Lloyd Ayers. Credit: Michelle Durham)

Michelle Durham Michelle Durham
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By Michelle Durham

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The Philadelphia Fire Department honored a dispatcher during National Telecommunicator week.

This 17 year seasoned professional personally handled over 300 calls during one shift when Superstorm Sandy hit the city October 29, 2012.

Fire Dispatcher Tanya Blackwell calls herself Shelli and in an industry where few people ever see you, if you ask, it seems as though everyone knows her name.

“This was a night like no other. It was just job after job after job. You look for people under pressure to over deliver and Shelli gave me more than that. She was great,” Philadelphia Fire Department Chief Dispatcher Michael Moore explains.

Together with Commissioner Lloyd Ayers they presented the plaque.

On a normal night there is a couple of hundred of medical runs, but on this night between 7p.m. to midnight she managed 326 incidents and a two alarm fire.

This is what Shelli wants you to know about dispatchers everywhere.

“Dispatchers are here to help you and in a crisis we can be your best friend,” says Shelli.

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