TOMPKINS COUNTY, N.Y. (WETM) – First responders are true heroes. From police officers catching criminals to firefighters rushing into a burning building, or an EMT performing life-saving interventions, you forgot how first responders put their lives on the line to make our lives safer every day. But how do they know where to go? That is where the hero role of the dispatcher comes into play.

Dispatchers are the first person you call when you have an emergency. They are always there and always aware of the resources that are available in a given jurisdiction. But it does not stop with just taking your phone call for help, and knowing who’s available. There are many actions that dispatchers take for different types of calls, that help the first responders on the street perform their jobs.

How do you say thank you to the people that are always there to answer the call? We attempt to show some respect and thanks to them by bringing them to you in our First Responder Appreciation. We do this from nominations from you of our local First Responders. This week, we recognize a man who has been in emergency services going on 16 years and covers not only one discipline, but two.

Zach Guidi has been a firefighter with the Newfield Fire Company for going on 16 years and is currently a Deputy Chief with the department. He was also recently acknowledged for his work as a dispatcher for Tompkins County.

Zach is a dispatch supervisor in Tompkins County’s Emergency Communications Center and was recently named the 2022 Dispatcher of the Year by the APCO (Association of Public Safety Communications Officials) Atlantic Chapter. He was presented with the award this past week at the group’s fall conference in Bretton Woods, New Hampshire.

Tompkins County Communications Center Manager John Halaychik accompanied Guidi to the conference, and said, “Zack has proven time and again that he is a valuable asset and team player to our department. Respected by his co-workers, he’s always into work early, engages with his colleagues, has valuable input for administrative staff, and exercises sound judgment when critical thinking and decision-making is required.”

In accepting the award, Guidi added, “This wasn’t possible without the support of my family, my colleagues, and my bosses. Congratulations to all the APCO Atlantic Chapter award winners.”

In October, Guidi was recognized as Telecommunicator of the Year by the New York State 9-1-1 Coordinators Association at its fall conference in Cattaraugus County.

“It is a true honor to achieve such distinction on both the state and national levels. We are extremely proud of Zack and congratulate him on his well-deserved recognition.”

Michael Stitley, Tompkins County Emergency Response Director

Guidi joined the Tompkins County 9-1-1 Center in October 2016. He also serves as an Assistant Fire Chief in Newfield, where he lives with his wife Melanie, and their two children.

Since 2004, the Tompkins County 9-1-1 Center has provided emergency communications for 18 fire departments, seven law enforcement agencies, and four EMS agencies. If you are interested in pursuing a career as a dispatcher keep an eye out for future job postings. If you would like to find out more about the Newfield Fire Company you can follow them on Facebook.

If you know of a hero, (First Responder) that you would like to see recognized, you can nominate them by clicking on this link.