SANTA ROSA (KPIX 5) — A North Bay fire dispatcher has been recognized with a national award for her work during the 2017 Wine Country wildfires.
The REDCOM communications center is the heart of all the fire and medical operations in Sonoma County.
KT McNulty is a REDCOM operations manager and one of many dispatchers that answered 911 calls that fateful night when the Tubbs Fire tore through Santa Rosa.
McNulty recalled the chaos of that night. “Hundreds of incoming phone calls with people in various kinds of peril,” she said.
For her calm guidance, swift lifesaving instructions for people in the fire’s path, and unwavering support for her team of dispatchers, the International Academies of Emergency Dispatchers honored McNulty with the National Dispatcher of the Year Award.
For someone used to speaking to a number of people during times of high-stress, stepping on stage to accept the award was nerve-racking. “I can talk to hundreds of people, thousands of people on the radio every day, but I can’t get in front of a crowd and speak,” she said nervously.
McNulty remains modest; even though she is the one who accepted the award, she says everyone on the team stepped up that night.
How long was she on the shift that night? “I think I went home at 4 p.m. the next day,” she recalled.
The 911 REDCOM Director, Aaron Abbott, said the award is special. “She a very special person, so we want to keep her around a while!”