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Nominations are now closed for 2023

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TENA may present nine different awards for outstanding performance and contributions to the profession of public safety communications and recognizes outstanding performance on the part of the nominees which serves to enhance the public safety communications profession.

Those awards are as follows;


The nominee must be actively employed by, or recently retired (last calendar year) from one of the following;

  • A Public Safety Answering Point,

  • A Public Safety Dispatch Center,

  • Emergency Communications District

 9-1-1 Professionals Awards  click here for the nomination form 

Selection of the recipient will be the responsibility of the 9-1-1 Professionals Awards Committee.  There will be no nominees for the award serving on the award committee.  Lack of nominations or of a unanimous decision of the 9-1-1 Professionals Awards Committee will result in no award be given for that category for this year.  This award recognizes outstanding performance, not every year will have a recipient.

Past award winners will be considered for future awards unless otherwise noted, if they have made additional outstanding contributions worthy of recognition



Nominations may be made by completing and submitting the form provided on the TENA website.  Please submit one form for each nomination.  Additional materials may be provided to include audiotapes of any specific calls used to support the nomination.  You will be notified that your submittal was received and is being reviewed by the 9-1-1 Professionals Awards Committee.

Indicate your nomination on the online form below.  Please provide all information requested.   Nominations will be taken until Wednesday, August 16, 2023


All nominees should regularly demonstrate the following:

  1. Positive attitude toward all aspects of the job

  2. Willingness to be a team player; earns and maintain the respect of coworkers

  3. Professional discipline and pride in the quality of work

  4. Flexibility in task assignments and ability to adapt to unusual and special circumstances.

  5. Ability to effectively answer, process, and dispatch emergency and non-emergency calls for service (except as noted below)

  6. Multi-tasking skills

  7. Minimum of two (2) years of experience in emergency communications

  8. An individual can only be eligible for one (1) award per year.




Awarded to the telecommunicator for their service above and beyond the call of duty in all areas of work performance as well as the skills and knowledge exhibited in all aspects of communications on a daily basis.  The recipient is recognized for consistently going the extra mile in serving the public, the officers, deputies, troopers, firefighters, EMS personnel, administration, other agencies, and co‐workers.




Awarded to the supervisor who has done the most for dispatchers in a department or agency. The recipient is recognized for excelling at their job requirements and balancing the needs of the dispatch center and administration with the needs of the dispatcher.

Excellence in Leadership

A strong leader demonstrates a unique ability to guide and inspire others, which in turn contributes to the effective and efficient functioning of the district. Both managers and non‐managers may possess, and make evident, strong leadership in the following ways:

  • Inspires and encourages personal and professional development in others;

  • Builds strong relationships that support a high level of trust and credibility;

  • Adapts readily to new situations;

  • Effectively persuades others using keen organizational awareness;

  • Mentors and cultivates employees, creating a culture of respect that fosters an atmosphere conducive to achievement;

  • Contributes to the success of an initiative that benefits those outside his/her own department and/or places emphasis on collaboration within and among departments.




Awarded to a dispatcher, agency, or agencies for successful handling of a major, critical, spectacular or noteworthy incident that involves the coordination of multiple public safety responses and other emergency resources.

Note: To provide increased recognition for smaller agencies that perform extraordinary service with fewer resources, the submissions will be broken down into four sizes of agencies, measured by the number of positions the agency has.

Small PSAP 1‐3;  Medium 4‐6;  Large 7-10; X-Large 11+.

You will be required to list the number of positions the agency has on the nomination form.




This award is presented to an individual employed within the Communications Center in recognition of their outstanding service, efforts to public safety and dedication to the agency. This may be awarded to a Telecommunicator, Supervisor, Trainer, Radio Technician, CAD Manager, Addressing/MSAG Manager, or any other support position in which the individual has played a significant role in the enhancing and improvement to operations of the center. 

If the nominee is a non-dispatch person, they do not need to meet requirement number 5 of the general awards criteria

The nominee should ensure that learning is integrated with work, and uses the knowledge gained to improve business results may approach his/her work in the following ways:

  • Views mistakes as stepping stones essential to further growth;

  • Promotes the transfer of knowledge and influence from person to person;

  • Recognizes and responds to different learning preferences and cultivates other’s abilities and talents;

  • Models an open attitude toward self‐evaluation;

  • Promotes self‐direction and empowers colleagues to make decisions;

  • Celebrates the learning process for its own sake;

  • Works under the assumption that everything is subject to re‐examination and acts on opportunities to implement positive change.




The Clara Hitson Award is bestowed upon an individual who has not only excelled in his or her everyday job as an ECD Director or Manager of a Public Safety Answering Point but has gone above and beyond to further the goals of the Tennessee Emergency Number Association (TENA) during the past year.  The award is named for Clara Hitson who after being introduced into emergency communications as a dispatcher at the Sweetwater Police Department, then became the first E-911 Director of Monroe County.  She led the development of a highly-respected, professional E911 center serving and saving thousands of Monroe County citizens in her 24 years as Director.


Nomination Criteria

  • The nominee and/or their ECD must be a TENA member in good standing.

  • Must have provided vision, value, and leadership to their PSAP and public safety communications through his or her commitment and work ethics.

  • Must have gone beyond the ordinary to protect Tennessee’s citizens and property, or must have contributed significantly to the public safety profession.

  • Must have achieved exceptional and sustained results with respect to public safety communications and 9-1-1.

  • Must be someone that contributes to the goals and mission of the TENA organization.

  • The nominator must document evidence of the individual’s actions and accomplishments in the area of his or her work with public safety communications and 9-1-1.



Honorary Lifetime Member     click here for the nomination form

Honorary Lifetime Member includes individuals who have served TENA and have retired from a PSAP or ECD in good standing.  Honorary Lifetime Members are exempt from dues for life or until the resignation or disqualification of such member.  Honorary Lifetime Members carry the same privileges as Individual Members, in addition to other privileges outlined within the TENA policy.


Honorary Lifetime Member - The following shall be eligible for Honorary membership in this Association:

- Honorary Lifetime Members include individuals who have served TENA and have retired from a PSAP or ECD in good standing.

- Honorary Lifetime Members are exempt from dues for life or until the resignation or disqualification of such member.  The Honorary

  Lifetime Member must maintain all standards of ethics and character as required for members of the Board.  The Honorary Lifetime

  Membership may be revoked at the discretion of the Board.

- Honorary Lifetime Members carry the same privileges as Individual Members, in addition to other privileges outlined within TENA policy.

- Honorary Lifetime Members must be nominated by the Board of Directors from the ECD in which they retired.  The Conference Awards 

  Committee may award up to one person per region per year.  Recipients (if any) will be announced at the Annual Conference each year.

- Nomination forms will be available in conjunction with the Annual Conference Awards.

- To be eligible to serve on the Board, the Honorary Lifetime Member must return to ECD Affiliate status.  Honorary Lifetime Members may

   serve Committees if all the requirements of such positions outlined elsewhere in the policies and bylaws are met and maintained. 


NOTE:  The 911 Professional Awards and the Honorary Lifetime Member awards will be bestowed upon the

                recipients at the Annual Luncheon / Banquet & Awards Ceremony on Tuesday

Dispatch Incident
Distinguished Service
Clara Hitson
Honorary Lifetime
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FORM - Honorary Lifetime
FORM - 911 Professinal
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