Public Safety Telecommunicator of the Year

Published on September 15, 2021


Coral Springs, FL - On September 9, 2021, Telecommunications Supervisor Melissa Ayres received the 9-1-1 Public Safety Telecommunicator of the Year Award from the Florida Department of Health’s Emergency Medical Service Section. She was honored for her leadership in the field of public safety communications and her successful lifesaving efforts when a woman suffering from cardiac arrest in the City of Parkland.

Of the recognition, Police Chief Clyde Parry said, “Melissa is one of the reasons I am proud to say we have the best Communications Centers in the state, if not the nation. This position is often overlooked at being a first responder, but is arguably one the most valuable in public safety, as evident by her actions and this state award.”

On April 30, 2020, Melissa answered a 9-1-1 call from a 14-year-old girl in Parkland advising that her mom was not breathing. Melissa initiated a call and then proceeded to instruct the girl how to perform CPR. As the girl administered CPR, Melissa encouraged her to continue doing compressions several times throughout the call. Melissa also instructed the girl to send her sibling to open the front door to allow easy entry for responding paramedics. When the girl indicated to Melissa that the mom was now breathing, she instructed the girl to roll her mom onto her side, recovery position, and to keep monitoring her breathing. The girl reported that her mom turned purple, so Melissa instructed her to roll her mom back onto her back and resume CPR, all while encouraging her as she did chest compression. The girl did about 50 more compressions, when paramedics entered and took over life safety measures. The victim was transported to the hospital and recovered.

Hospital staff contacted our Fire Department’s Emergency Medical Services Division to report that Melissa’s actions helped save the woman’s life.  Once the victim recovered, she and her daughter met with Melissa and members of the Fire Department who responded to the scene at Fire Station 109. Melissa received the prestigious Life Saving Commendation for this call from the Fire Department.

“Melissa's diligence, quick action and relay of vital information that day is a reminder of the critical role our telecommunicators have in saving lives,” said Fire Chief Michael McNally. “This type of responsive service our residents during life and death situations is what the residents of Coral Springs and Parkland have come to expect and deserve.”

Melissa has served with the City of Coral Springs since 2005.