Amy Elkins named Employee of the Year for Dare County

Published 7:00 am Monday, February 27, 2023

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Amy Elkins, who serves as a telecommunications shift supervisor for the Dare County Sheriff’s Office 911 Communications Center in Manteo and was named Dare County Employee of the Month for June 2022, has received the prestigious honor of being named Dare County Employee of the Year for 2022.

The announcement was made during the February Dare County Board of Commissioners meeting by Dare County human resources director Elizabeth Reilly, who explained that “Each month, subordinates, supervisors and department heads nominate employees who go above and beyond in the line of duty, employees who go the extra mile and employees who shine bright.”

These Employee of the Month nomination forms are submitted to the Dare County Human Resources Department, whose staff provides them to a committee consisting of past Employee of the Month recipients that review the nominations and determine who the award will be presented to each month. At the end of each year, the committee also looks back at the 12 individuals who received the Employee of the Month award and selects the one who will receive the honor of being named Dare County Employee of the Year.

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“I’m honored today to be presenting the 2022 Dare County Employee of the Year,” said Reilly. “Dare County’s employees are our number one asset. They give it their all to make the county the best. Dare County would not be what it is if it wasn’t for our employees who work tirelessly around the clock to provide for our residents and visitors. We are extremely fortunate to have 770 true gems. Now for the 2022 Employee of the Year: Congratulations to telecommunications shift supervisor Amy Elkins!”

Reilly then turned the presentation over to Dare County 911 Communications Center director Captain Jack Scarborough, who shared details about how Elkins’ dedication to her duties and her efforts to go above and beyond on a daily basis have earned her the esteemed honor.

“It’s a big honor and a privilege to be up here to give one of my staff the Employee of the Year for the county,” said Scarborough.

A Wanchese native with several family members who also serve the community in the field of public safety, Elkins began working for Dare County in July 2009 as a telecommunicator for the 911 Communications Center, which operates out of the Dare County Emergency Operations Center in Manteo and provides services for Dare, Tyrrell and Hyde counties. In January 2016, Elkins was promoted to assistant shift supervisor and in February 2019, she was promoted to her current position of telecommunications shift supervisor for the C Shift.

In this role, Elkins is tasked with receiving and responding to emergency and non-emergency calls, as well as dispatching the appropriate police, fire and emergency medical services personnel to various locations throughout the three counties the 911 Communications Center serves. In addition, she is also responsible for supervising the assistant telecommunicator and five telecommunicators that are assigned to each shift she works.

“She serves as a shift supervisor, so she’s in charge of everything that happens in the room when she’s working,” said Scarborough, who went on to highlight Elkins’ willingness to step up and assist her department whenever and wherever she is needed. “When we think about Amy, we think steady, dependable and calm – she never wavers. She’s always at work, she always fills in, and she always helps. She always pitches in. If somebody’s sick, she’s the first one that will come in and fill in. With the job of the [911] Communications Center, we’ve got to keep five seats filled at all times to be able to cover the needs of three counties. If somebody’s sick, Amy’s always there.”

Scarborough also praised Elkins for her ability to remain calm and collected regardless of the situation that is unfolding for members of the public or that law enforcement and emergency services personnel are facing when a call to the 911 Communications Center is placed.

“She’s always calm, no matter what the call is, whether they’re delivering a baby on the phone, doing CPR on the phone or [talking] to a deputy in a car chase or an officer screaming ‘shots fired!’ on the radio,” he said. “She’s always calm, always has the same tone and always provides the best level of service to everybody.”

In addition to her calm demeanor, Scarborough also commented on Elkins’ positive attitude and the impact that it has on all of her colleagues who work the C Shift alongside her.

“Her attitude is the best you can ever imagine,” he said. “On January 10, we switched to a new computer-aided dispatch program. When we switched to that program, it flipped their lives upside down. Everything they did for the last 22 years just got flipped upside down and they have to do it a different way. It’s a new program. It’s a new way of entering things – it’s just their whole life. [Amy] is always positive, always upbeat, never negative, always looking to help, always smiling. It’s just amazing. It’s like the worst time in a telecommunicator’s career was January 10, and she was happy! Her attitude is infectious toward everybody, and she has a very happy shift.”

As he concluded his comments and presented Elkins with her 2022 Dare County Employee of the Year award, Scarborough said, “I am 100 percent grateful and thankful for everything she does for us – including the stuff that she does that she doesn’t even know that she does. Just her mere presence helps everything on the shift, so thank you very much.”

2022 Employee of the Month Recipients

Dare County 911 Communications Center telecommunicator Amy Elkins was selected as Dare County’s 2022 Employee of the Year from the 12 county employees who were each honored as Employee of the Month throughout 2022. Dare County’s 2022 Employee of the Month recipients are:

  • January 2022: Jeffrey Mitchell, captain for the Dare County EMS Department
  • February 2022: Katelin Kight, public relations specialist for the Dare County Public Relations Department
  • March 2022: Jessica Parra, senior customer service representative for the Dare County Water Department
  • April 2022: Willie Spencer, custodian for the Dare County Department of Health & Human Services’ Social Services Division
  • May 2022: Avery Whitfield, paramedic for the Dare County EMS Department
  • June 2022: Amy Elkins, telecommunications shift supervisor for the Dare County Sheriff’s Office 911 Communications Center
  • July 2022: Acra Styron, leisure activities coordinator for the Dare County Parks and Recreation Department’s Northern Beach Division
  • August 2022: Olga Roberts, senior foreign language interpreter for the Dare County Department of Health & Human Services
  • September 2022: Matthew Cartwright, Advanced EMT for the Dare County EMS Department
  • October 2022: Stephen Stetson, systems administrator for the Dare County Sheriff’s Office 911 Communications Center
  • November 2022: Ray Griggs, lead carpenter for the Dare County Public Works Department’s Buildings and Grounds Division
  • December 2022: Kelly Aiken, lead school health nurse for the Dare County Department of Health & Human Services’ Public Health Division