HOLBROOK — The Holbrook Regional Emergency Communications Center is pleased to announce that Director Stephan Hooke has been named International Director of the Year for 2021 by the Association of Public Safety Communications Professionals (APCO).
The award recipients, who represent public safety communications agencies across the country, have demonstrated the highest levels of professional conduct and outstanding performance in the line of duty.
“Being named APCO’s Director of the Year is a tremendous honor, and it is one that I share with each and every member of the Holbrook Regional Emergency Communications Center,” Director Hooke said. “I am incredibly proud of the hard work, professionalism and dedication that the telecommunicators and staff show on a daily basis, and it is because of them that the HRECC is as successful as it is. I have dedicated the past 30 years of my life to working in the field of emergency communications, and have worked with so many terrific people. To be recognized with this award is very special.”
The Holbrook Regional Emergency Communications Center is part of APCO International, the world’s largest organization of public safety communications professionals. Specifically the Center is a part of the Atlantic Chapter, which includes all the New England states as well as New York and New Jersey and is one of 43 APCO chapters across the United States.
Director Hooke is responsible for a staff of 32 people as well as the daily operation of the HRECC. He began his career with the Holbrook Fire Department as a dispatcher 28 years ago, at the age of 19. Four years later he was promoted to a supervisor position. Over the years he has worked diligently to promote and build the department from a one-person dispatching operation to a large regional center.
In 2014, Director Hooke was presented the Jeffery Grossman 9-1-1 Award for his work in transforming the town’s dispatch system into a regional center. The award was established in Grossman’s memory because he was largely responsible for the implementation of the state-wide 9-1-1 system in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The award is given to a person who, like Jeff, is an “unsung hero” who dedicated his life to furthering the goal of public safety for the benefit of the citizens of Massachusetts.
Director Hooke was named APCO-Atlantic Chapter Director of the Year for 2019, having been presented with the award at the chapter’s annual Public Safety Awards program at the Sea Crest Beach Hotel in Falmouth last fall.
The awards committee selected Director Hooke to receive the award due to his leadership qualities, professionalism, dedication and for being a driving force for helping pave the way for emergency communications regionalization in Massachusetts.
Most recently, he spearheaded the construction and completion of a 5,967 square-foot, multi-million dollar renovation and expansion project for the HRECC headquarters. The project broke ground in September 2019 and the HRECC occupied the new facility beginning on Jan. 7. The state-of-the-art center features the latest technology used in emergency communications and includes space available for future equipment upgrades.
“I know a lot of inspiring and amazing people in this industry, but I do not know anyone quite like Director Hooke. I don’t know of anyone with the same level of knowledge, passion, drive, determination and overall love of the job,” said HRECC Deputy Director of Communications Lauren Mielke, who nominated Director Hooke for the awards. “I could not hand pick anyone else who I would want to be my mentor. There is no one more selfless and deserving of this honor. I don’t know of anyone who eats, sleeps and breathes this profession the way he does.”
Director Hooke, along with the other winners of the 2021 Public Safety Communications Awards and Technology Leadership Awards (as well as last year’s winners), will be recognized during the Opening General Session at APCO 2021, APCO’s Annual Conference & Expo, taking place Aug. 15-18 in San Antonio, Texas.
“Congratulations to this year’s winners and thank you for the hard work you do every day,” said Margie Moulin, President of APCO International. “It has been an unprecedented year and we are thrilled to honor this year’s winners for standing strong and serving as heroes to their communities when it was needed most. We are proud of you and all who were nominated this year.”
About APCO International
APCO International is the world’s oldest and largest organization of public safety communications professionals and supports the largest U.S. membership base of any public safety association. It serves the needs of public safety communications practitioners worldwide – and the welfare of the general public as a whole – by providing complete expertise, professional development, technical assistance, advocacy and outreach.