CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA - At the 2018 annual conference of Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) International, Lisa Fitzgerald, a 29-year veteran of the Charlottesville-UVA-Albemarle County Emergency Communications Center, received the 911 Telecommunication Award.
Fitzgerald is the very first local recipient of this prestigious international award and she represents the exceptional professionalism and value of our Public Safety Communication Officers and Supervisors and all of our emergency first responders.
“I believe our 911 Emergency Dispatchers are the ‘unseen and unsung’ heroes of our community,” said Thomas L. von Hemert, CIT Coordinator for the Thomas Jefferson Area Crisis Intervention Team and President of CIT International.“They are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, and these amazing, dedicated, skilled crisis workers receive and quickly respond to all the 911 phones calls.”
The Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) is a well-documented and successful model of improving police, first-responder and 911 dispatcher interactions with people experiencing acute episodes of mental illness.The training is designed to educate and prepare those who come into contact with people in crisis, to recognize the signs and symptoms of mental illness and to respond effectively and appropriately to the individual.
Fitzgerald first became interested in the CIT program in 2007 when she attended the basic 40-Hour CIT class.She now represents the Charlottesville-UVA-Albemarle County Emergency Communications Center and is responsible for keeping the staff updated and informed on CIT policies and training.
Lisa has facilitated and taught at all the CIT Emergency Dispatcher Trainings for public safety telecommunication officers across the region to include Charlottesville, Albemarle, Greene, Fluvanna, Louisa, Nelson, Orange and Goochland counties over the past 11 years.
“Because of her extraordinary dedication and devotion to CIT, all nine of the localities within the Thomas Jefferson Area CIT have 100 percent of their public safety telecommunication officers trained in CIT,” said von Hemert.“Not only has she lead the CIT training for our local area, she has also trained and mentored most of the CIT programs throughout Virginia and has assisted in developing and implementing CIT training for public safety telecommunication officers. Her passion and dedication to CIT is extraordinary to say the least.”
In 2013, Lisa received the distinguished Virginia State CIT Emergency Dispatcher Award.