Five dispatchers at the Franklin County Regional Communications Center in Farmington are recognized Tuesday by Director Brad Timberlake at a county commission meeting. From left, front, are Melissa Adams of the Maine Emergency Medical Services, dispatchers Hunter Lowell, Dawn Tolman, Johanna Cullenberg and Jace Poulin; in back, Commissioner Terry Brann of Wilton, commission Chairman Lance Harvell of Farmington, Commissioner Bob Carlton of Freeman Township, Timberlake and dispatcher Everett Spaulding. Donna M. Perry/Sun Journal

FARMINGTON — Brad Timberlake, director of the Franklin County Regional Communications Center, recognized five dispatchers Tuesday for their exemplary efforts to save lives, deliver babies and coordinate emergency services.

The ceremony was held during a meeting of county commissioners.

“Within Franklin County, 911 dispatchers serve as the central hub during emergencies,” Timberlake said. “These highly skilled and dedicated professionals are the first to receive calls and coordinate initial response efforts.

Dispatchers undergo extensive training in CPR and automated external defibrillators, emergency fire dispatch, computer teletype, computer aided dispatch, and more.

“However, there is one quality that cannot be taught but is possessed by all dispatchers: a deep sense of compassion and empathy,” Timberlake said.

“It is expected that dispatchers answer calls, coordinate efforts, and swiftly move on to the next one, often unaware of the final outcome of their previous call,” Timberlake said. “It is important to remember dispatchers, like everyone else, have lives outside of work. They have families, friends and hobbies. They are human beings who selflessly assist others during the most challenging moments of their lives.”


Timberlake recognized Jace Poulin, dispatch supervisor, with the Lifesaving-CPR Pin. About 9:11 p.m. on Feb. 15 in Chesterville, Poulin received a call from a distraught husband whose middle-age wife was exhibiting signs of abnormal breathing. Recognizing the urgency, Poulin calmly but firmly obtained the critical information needed to determine that CPR was required.

“He then adeptly coached the husband on initiating chest compressions to save his wife’s life. Poulin’s quick thinking and guidance enabled the caller to start lifesaving measures until paramedics arrived,” Timberlake said. It was learned days later that the wife recovered and returned home.

Dispatch team lead Dawn Tolman was recognized with the Phoenix Award-Critical Role for being a vital link in a patient’s survival. She will also be recognized at the state level.

On July 29, 2023, Tolman took an emergency call in Farmington involving a 67-year-old man experiencing chest pain, Timberlake said.

“This call was severe in nature due to the patient’s history of heart issues,” he said. “Chest pains are common in the dispatch environment and often times, if the patient is the caller, they can be quite worked up due to the pain as well as the fear.

“Team lead Tolman obtained all of the important information for the responders,” he said. “She then switched gears and kept actively engaged with the patient to keep him occupied while help was underway.”


Dispatcher Everett Spaulding was recognized with the Lifesaving-CPR pin. He will also be recognized at the state level.

On Oct. 12, 2023, Spaulding received a medical call from Freeman Township. “The caller reported that he and a 69-year-old male were cutting wood when the 69-year-old male collapsed.

Spaulding utilized the Emergency Medical Protocol and was able to establish the breathing pattern exhibited by this male could benefit from CPR efforts.

“He remained composed and instructed the caller on how to perform effective CPR on the patient. Dispatcher Spaulding continued these efforts, counting out loud for the caller for the proper rate of compressions until help arrived,” Timberlake said. “When help arrived, Deputy Andrew Morgan was able to take over

Dispatcher Johanna Cullenberg was recognized with the Stork Award Pin.

Just before 5 p.m. on Feb. 11, Cullenberg demonstrated “exceptional professionalism and control under pressure” when she received a 911 call regarding a woman in labor in Jay.


Despite the chaotic and frantic nature of the situation, Cullenberg remained composed, swiftly following emergency protocols and ensuring preparedness for any potential complications.

“Her genuine concern for the well-being of the mother alongside her remarkable poise in providing crucial guidance speaks volumes about her dedication to her role. Upon the delivery of the baby it was quickly determined that the baby was not breathing and was exhibiting a purple color,” Timberlake said.

This can be common in births but it can make a tense situation worse, he said. The baby survived.

Dispatcher Hunter Lowell was recognized with the Excellence in Service Award. He has been a dispatcher for just over two years.

“In that time I have worked closely with him and watched him grow into an extremely valuable member of the team. Lowell consistently arrives at work with a can-do attitude, ready to assist in any way needed,” Timberlake said.

He helps train new hires and supports dispatchers who are still learning, demonstrating patience, professionalism and tact, Timberlake said. Responders often praise Lowell’s calm demeanor and exceptional skills, he said.

Recently, Franklin County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Brandon Sholan wrote a letter commending Lowell’s exceptional work.

“I am proud to recognize Lowell’s exceptional work, both internally and in building strong relations with the departments we serve,” Sholan wrote.

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