Dispatcher named county employee of the year for his help with at-home birth

Staff Reports Posted 4 November 2022 at 11:40 am

Provided photos: Orleans County Employee of the Year Jerry Bentley is congratulated by Director of Personnel Katie Harvey.

ALBION – An Orleans County dispatcher has been named the county “employee of the year” for his work helping with an at-home birth on Feb. 4.

Jerry Bentley received the 911 call at about 4 a.m. Bentley followed emergency medical dispatcher cards (EMDs) to offer instructions to the pregnant woman’s husband and two firefighters. Bentley was on the phone for an hour.

“It was a difficult birth for the mother as the infant’s shoulders were caught, causing a great deal of physical and emotional pain,” said Katie Harvey, the county’s personnel director. “The employee remained calm during the situation, continuing to provide instructions while his partner gave updates to the responding ambulance and EMS responders.”

The baby boy wasn’t breathing on his own when he was delivered and Bentley provided further instructions before the paramedics arrived.

“It was very stressful for all involved, listening until the relief of knowing that the baby finally took his first breaths,” Harvey said.

Bentley has worked with the county for eight years, starting in a part-time position in 2014 before going full time in 2017.

He has helped with two baby deliveries as a dispatcher during his career.

“Helping bring a baby into the world outside of a medical environment is one of the greatest tasks a dispatcher can do, and luckily is not a task that is faced often,” Harvey said.

Bentley has respect from his co-workers and the public for his daily interactions on the job, Harvey said.

The county’s employee recognition program was on Thursday at Maison Albion.

The county’s Employee Assistance Program Committee is tasked to recognize employees of the month. The EAP Committee receives nominations from fellow employees and department directors and then the nominations are reviewed and discussed by the committee and a selection is made.

The employees of the months for the past year were:

  • October 2021 – Alyssa Hancock (Mental Health)
  • November 2021 – Elizabeth Jubenville (Social Services)
  • December 2021 – Marjorie Beecher, Danielle Champeney & Danielle Kickbush (Social Services- Child Support)
  • January 2022 – Christopher Shabazz (Sheriff-Jail)
  • February 2022 – Sarah Dale (Department of Public Works)
  • March 2022 – Jerry Bentley (Sheriff-Dispatch)
  • April 2022 – Alisha Richardson (Treasurer)
  • May 2022 – Sherri Bensley (Public Health)
  • June 2022 – Tisha Drought (Mental Health)
  • July 2022 – Scott Snook (Computer Services)
  • August 2022 – Eileen Ryan (Office for the Aging)

From this pool of candidates, a Department Head can make a recommendation to a separate committee to determine the Employee of the Year, Harvey said. The committee takes into consideration the service that an employee has performed in choosing the Employee of the Year.

Employee of the Month attendees at Thursday’s awards program include Eileen Ryan (Office for the Aging), Scott Snook (Computer Services), Sherri Bensley (Public Health), Jerry Bentley (Sheriff-Dispatch), Sarah Dale (Department of Public Works), Marjorie Beecher (Social Services), Danielle Champeney (Social Services), Danielle Kickbush (Social Services), Elizabeth Jubenville (Social Services) and Alisha Richardson (Treasurer’s Office).