February 03, 2006
Ketchikan Deputy Police Chief John Maki said that about 1:00 pm, the police department began receiving numerous emergency 911 calls regarding the plane crash behind the A and P Market. Kaejo Brown and Falene Dossman were the on-duty dispatchers who suddenly had their day go from answering standard calls for service to chaos.
Maki said while Dossman answered phones, Brown handled emergency radio traffic in a calm, steady voice that has been shown to decrease stress in such situations.
Hearing about or seeing the number of emergency vehicles, off-duty dispatchers Cambre Skaggs and Trudie Murphy voluntarily ended their time off and went to the police department to assist. Heidi Welk, Administrative Secretary and Carol Duckworth, Evidence Custodian put their normal duties on hold and also went to the dispatch center to assist in any way possible. They formed a team to efficiently and effectively get the job done said Maki.
Deputy Police Chief Maki said Lt. Alan Bengaard made a timely decision to have his patrol team end their scheduled training day early to provide more personnel in searching for the pilot and to provide security. Lt. Paul Bruening went to the scene to assume his role as law enforcement incident commander, coordinating the search effort, traffic control and security at the scene.
For Kaejo Brown's professionalism in an extreme situation, she received a Letter of Commendation. The other departmental personnel mentioned received Letters of Appreciation for the exemplary way they handled the emergency.
"Other recognition will come from reviewing this incident." said Deputy Chief John Maki. "The citizens of Ketchikan have every reason to be proud of their police department to include those serving in a support capacity."
"There have been thanks
extended for the response of all the personnel of the agencies
involved. Another thank you needs to be extended to those unnamed
caring people I met in a snow storm scouring the woods for the
pilot. It is this attitude of caring that makes Ketchikan a
great place to live and work," said Maki.
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