Gardner resident Heather Beaubout, a Johnson County Sheriff’s Office deputy and 911 dispatcher, received high accolades for her 25-year career at the 26th Annual Telecommunicators Appreciation Celebration and Outstanding Performance Awards.
Beaubout received the Everyday Hero Award during the April 14 event in Kansas City, Mo. Each year, the Mid-America Regional Council recognizes 911 emergency dispatchers and call takers across the Kansas City region for the crucial role they play in public safety.
Held during National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week, the annual event recognizes telecommunicators who consistently perform above and beyond the call of duty, demonstrate exemplary individual and team performance in a critical incident, conduct outstanding training performance and have made a significant contribution to the field of public safety for more than a minimum of 25 years.
“The best part of being nominated for this award was that I was nominated by a peer that I highly respect,” she said. “Knowing that my coworkers value my work ethic and interests makes me proud of the work I do.”
Beaubout has worked the past 16 of her 25-year career in the sheriff’s communications division.
“I wanted to make a difference,” she said about starting at the sheriff’s office 25 years ago. “Throughout the years and a lot of highs and lows, I have found my spot in the communications division.”
Beaubout also serves on the sheriff’s office’s peer support team and is a communications training officer.
“I have responded to assist throughout the state when officers and dispatchers were involved in critical incidents,” she said. “I advocate for mental health training both to benefit the community and officers who are frequently answering horrific phone calls and dispatching those calls.”
As a communications training officer, Beaubout said she has trained many of the men and women in the communications division. She has also worked with the Take Me Home program, aimed at those in the community who cannot provide their identity or address if they wander from their homes.
“Much of the time, dispatching is a thankless job,” Beaubout said. “As a dispatcher, I am the first person someone talks to when they are having the worst day of their life. I know that doing the best I can during those times is not something that I often get recognized for, but it is still something that can help calm the person on the other end of the line until help arrives.”