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CHICOPEE — Westcomm Regional Dispatch received the Patriotic Employer Award from the Office of the Secretary of Defense Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve.

Westcomm Executive Director Erin Hastings explained that Westcomm was nominated for this award by Shana Brodeur, one of its emergency communication specialist supervisors and a staff sergeant in the Army Reserve.

The training that the Army Reserve provides Westcomm’s personnel is relevant to their position in public safety. “They provide discipline and leadership skills that we benefit from,” Hastings said.

While there is no official relationship between Westcomm and the Army Reserve, Hastings said over 10% of its dispatch staff belong to the reserves. “We believe the training that the [Army] Reserve provides is beneficial to our agency. They provide leadership training and discipline which are both traits of our core values,” she shared.

She continued, “It’s an awesome opportunity to employ and support any personnel in the guard [and] reserves. It makes them a better employee because of those avenues.”

Westcomm received the award on Dec. 13.

“We’re grateful to be recognized [and] definitely humbled,” Hastings said.

The criterion for the award is an employer that goes above and beyond to accommodate someone’s position in the reserves.

“Due to the fact that we run a 24/7 operation, having so many reservists can be a challenge,” Hastings explained. “We do our best to switch schedules around so they may attend their training one weekend a month and two weeks during the year. We also try to work with them if they get selected for any type of specialty training in addition to their regular training hours.”

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