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SEVIER EMERGENCY DISPATCHER RECEIVES 2 PRESTIGIOUS AWARDS

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An emergency medical radio dispatcher in Sevier County has won two prestigious awards, partly for his work during an emergency when a carnival owner was shot about a year ago in Richfield.

Greg Harwood, Salina, was named Emergency Medical Dispatcher of the Year by the State Health Department's Bureau of Emergency Medical Services. He was also presented the Distinguished Service Award by the Association of Public Safety Communications International.Sevier County Sheriff John Meacham said what could have been a disaster, or even a hostage situation, was avoided because of the dispatcher's professionalism.

In recounting the emergency situation, Meacham said Harwood didn't let the problem get out of hand even though radio traffic bloomed to an almost uncontrollable level following the shooting incident. He was instrumental in directing an ambulance crew and the capture of the shooting suspect.

Steve Mattfeldt, owner of the Big Sky Amusement Co., was shot through the chest by an irate employee while equipment was being dismantled to move to another community. He was not seriously injured, however.

The suspect ran from the scene, was sighted near the Sevier County Fairgrounds, and the dispatcher was flooded with numerous telephone calls because so many people have scanners in their homes, Meacham said. "With a cool and calm manner, he (Harwood) sent officers to the proper locations and communicated information to ambulance personnel while answering an almost overwhelming amount of 911 calls."

Harwood is a former cowboy who worked on ranges and for the Salina Auction Co. before becoming a dispatcher. He worked for 18 months at the state prison in Gunnison and has been with the Sevier County Sheriff's Department for more than two years.