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Flagler County Communications Specialist Selected as the Florida Sheriffs Association 2024 Dispatcher of the Year

The Florida Sheriffs Association is pleased to announce that Communications Specialist First Class Megan Burton of Flagler County Sheriff’s Office has been selected as the 2024 Dispatcher of the Year. Each year, this award is presented at the FSA Winter Conference to a telecommunicator who has demonstrated exceptional service in the line of duty. The award is sponsored by L3Harris Technologies. 
Communications Specialist Megan Burton began her career with the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office in 2015. She currently holds the rank of Communications Specialist First Class, which was earned from her professionalism and dedicated service to the agency. Megan is a well-respected Communications Training Officer as well as a member of the Telecommunicator Emergency Response Taskforce. 

Megan has received several life-saving awards throughout her career, but the most recent occurred because of a call received on July 9, 2023. On that day Megan answered a 9-1-1 call from a caller requesting an ambulance for her husband who was mowing the grass and passed out. Megan immediately started asking pertinent questions regarding his condition and was able to determine that the patient was suffering from cardiac arrest. Megan relied on her training and knew that CPR needed to be started as quickly as possible as each minute that passed decreased the patient’s chance of survival. The caller told Megan that she didn’t know how to do CPR, which is when Megan assured her that she would guide her through the process and provided step-by-step instructions, counting aloud to ensure proper compression rate. When EMS arrived on scene, they advised that the patient had return of spontaneous circulation and was alive. Due to Megan’s ability to determine that the patient was in cardiac arrest and her guiding the caller through CPR instructions, the patient survived. 

Megan’s passion for helping others shines through her work as a Communications Training Officer. Her creativity allows her to think outside of the box, offering various ways to train. When she notices somebody struggling with specific tasks, she adapts and finds alternative instructional methods. For example, one of Megan’s recent trainees was having trouble understanding the radio traffic. Megan identified the trainee’s learning style and motivators and computed her successful transmissions into a percentage so that she could see how she was doing on a daily basis. This strategy helped the trainee see her progress, which led her to gain the confidence that she needed to show improvement. Earlier this year, one of Megan’s trainees nominated Megan for the Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials Trainer of the Year award. Within the nomination, the trainee praised Megan for her guidance, creativity and ability to stay calm during stressful situations. Megan sets the bar high but provides all of her trainees with the tools necessary to reach their goals. 

Recently, another member of Megan’s squad answered a call from a woman reporting that her husband wasn’t breathing. The call-taker immediately started to instruct CPR and resources were dispatched. Megan started looking at previous calls with the patient and found pertinent information about his medical condition that was not originally provided on the call, such as the patient having a trach. Megan updated the call notes and another dispatcher helped switch the EMD guide cards, which allowed the original call-taker to remain focused on providing the caller with CPR instructions. While on-scene, a family member told the Corporal that if it wasn’t for the help of the dispatcher, he would not have survived. This call was an outstanding team effort but is yet another example of how Megan’s proactiveness and diligence makes a difference for both her co-workers, responders and the community. 

“It is our honor to nominate Communication Specialist First Class Megan Burton for the 2024 Florida Sheriffs Association Dispatcher of the Year” said Flagler County Sheriff Rick Staly. “Megan consistently exhibits exceptional work performance and an extraordinary dedication to her role as a public safety dispatcher. Her calm demeanor has helped countless callers during times of distress, her attention to detail has helped keep our deputies safe and her dedication to helping others has allowed new dispatchers to develop their careers. Flagler County is lucky to have her.” 
The Florida Sheriffs Association Dispatcher of the Year Award is proudly sponsored by L3Harris Technologies. View the official award video here:

From left to right: CFO Jimmy Patronis, Flagler County Sheriff Rick Staly, Communications Specialist First Class Megan Burton, FSA President and Nassau County Sheriff Bill Leeper, Keith E. Gaston with L3Harris


About Florida Sheriffs Association
The Florida Sheriffs Association is a not-for-profit 501(c)3 corporation made up of the Sheriffs of Florida, approximately 3,000 business leaders and 100,000 citizens throughout the state. Founded in 1893, FSA has steadfastly served the citizens of Florida by supporting the needs of the state’s law enforcement community. Through the Florida Sheriffs Association, Sheriffs are given a forum to address lawmakers to push for positive changes in Florida’s public safety arena. FSA also provides Sheriffs’ Offices much-needed programs such as affordable training, special task forces and legislative and legal services. Dedicated to the prevention of juvenile delinquency and the development of lawful, productive citizens, FSA has established and funded the Florida Sheriffs Youth Ranches with facilities throughout the state to help restore hope, fulfill dreams, and prepare boys and girls for the future. It has grown to be one of the largest and most successful state law enforcement associations in the nation. For more information on the Florida Sheriffs Association, visit

About L3Harris Technologies
L3Harris Technologies is the Trusted Disruptor in the defense industry. With customers’ mission-critical needs always in mind, our 50,000 employees deliver end-to-end technology solutions connecting the space, air, land, sea and cyber domains in the interest of national security.