DOF’s Kelsa Shilanski voted as Alaska Dispatcher of the Year

Congratulations to the Alaska Division of Forestry’s Kelsa Shilanski, who was recently voted Dispatcher of the Year for the Alaska Geographic Area Coordination Center.

Shilanski, who has worked for DOF for nine years, topped a strong field of a dozen Alaska wildland fire dispatchers who were nominated for the Golden Teletype Award in Alaska.She displayed her versatility this busy season by working in four different dispatch offices – Kenai/Kodiak; Mat-Su; Fairbanks; and McGrath.

Alaska Division of Forestry dispatcher Kelsa Shilanski was voted as Alaska Dispatcher of the Year for the Alaska Geographic Area Coordination Center. Photo by Tim Mowry/Alaska Division of Forestry

Alaska Division of Forestry dispatcher Kelsa Shilanski was voted as Alaska Dispatcher of the Year for the Alaska Geographic Area Coordination Center. Photo by Tim Mowry/Alaska Division of Forestry

Here is what one person who nominated Shilanski had to say about her:

“It is an understatement to say that Kelsa is extremely competent, knowledgeable, dependable, fun to work with, and kind hearted. Kelsa takes on any challenge thrown at her with grace and a positive attitude. During this year’s Card Street Fire, she ran the aircraft desk single-handedly. She also handled the flight following for two large fires in nearby Chugach National Forest. Kelsa is a team player, and she truly cares about her co-workers. She is always willing to share her knowledge with fellow dispatchers who have questions. But it’s more than just helping others; it is the way she goes about it. Kelsa makes dispatch fun. And she does it while exhibiting an admirable and impressive knowledge of her job. All of these reasons are why I feel she deserves this award; she embodies all that the Golden TTY stands for.”

Another nominator said, “Kelsa’s positive, productive attitude at all times and under all conditions and her boundless energy really do make the difference when all else seems to be falling down around our heads.”

Other dispatchers who received nominations included Gabriella Branson (Alaska Interagency Coordinatin Center); Brooke Deck (Alaska Fire Service); Jerry Hansen (Division of Forestry); Zach Helmes (AICC); Deneille Kieliszewski (AFS); Becky Metcalf (DOF); Jennifer Northway (AFS); Hilary Shook (AFS); Stephanie Sweetsir (AFS); Chery Vanderhorn (AICC); and Nennette Llewylln Voorhees (DOF).

Shilanski will now be entered in the contest for the national Dispatcher of the Year, which will be awarded by the National Interagency Coordination Center in early December.

About Alaska Division of Forestry

Alaska Division of Forestry website: http://forestry.alaska.gov/ Mission: The Alaska Division of Forestry proudly serves Alaskans through forest management and wildland fire protection. The Wildland Fire and Aviation Program provides safe, cost-effective and efficient fire protection services and related fire and aviation management activities to protect human life and values on State, private and municipal lands. The wildland fire program cooperates with other wildland fire agencies on a statewide, interagency basis.

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