|Public Safety Telecommunicators Week April 9-15th|
|By Chief Todd Breeden|
|April 10, 2023|
MVFC would like to say a big Thank You to our local telecommunicators at the Harrisonburg Rockingham Emergency Communications Center (HRECC) during Telecommunicators week. You are the calming voice when someone calls 911.
We would like to especially recognize Mark Monger who is a longtime volunteer at MVFC and employee
Mark has worked at HRECC for 29 years. Mark says his Volunteer career led to a career in Emergency Communications. I was at a point where I was wanting to land a job in Emergency Services. At that time, there were not as many opportunities to get a job in Fire/Rescue as there are today. A fellow firefighter at C80 who also worked at HFD told me to apply for one of the dispatcher jobs that were open to get my foot in the door with HFD, so I figured, what the heck. I showed up to take test and it seemed like a hundred people in the room and I thought I would never get offered a job. A few months later, I got a call saying I got the job!
Over the years, I’ve had other job opportunities but have stayed at this job as I feel it was a calling. I have helped numerous people in their worst times, been recognized for saving lives by providing lifesaving instructions over the phone, been involved with a team of communications experts from all over the State of Virginia providing communications and interoperability solutions for many planned and emergency events from ground searches and plane crashes to OpSail in Norfolk and a Vice Presidential debate. This job also comes with a heavy price to pay. Since we are 24/7/365, there are many family events and holidays that are missed, not to mention the calls that we take that we’d rather not mention, the ones that you leave a little bit of yourself on. Calls involving kids, calls from friends and family who need help, as well as the extended Emergency Services family who you put in harms way every time you send them on a call. It’s definitely a roller coaster ride but the satisfaction of knowing that you’ve helped someone outweighs all the negatives.
Mark also is a 37 year volunteer at MVFC. Over those years he has held the positions of Secretary, Vice President, Lieutenant, Captain, Assistant Chief, and currently serving on the Board of Directors.)
I always wanted to be a fireman ever since hanging out at the firehouse in Elkton where my Dad was a volunteer when I was a kid. Once in High School, some of the guys I was hanging out with were members at Company 80 and I decided there was no time like the present to join. I immediately became addicted and took all the training I could get and ran every call that I could. I found out too that being a part of a volunteer fire company, that I had another family, and some of the people there I can truly say are lifelong friends. There have been hundreds of calls, some with great out comes and some with tragedies. There have been hundreds of fund raisers worked and great times had doing it. To say that Company 80 is a major part of my life would be an understatement!