Control Room Awards return to shine spotlight on unsung heroes

The APD Control Room Awards 2019 are the only national awards that recognise the extraordinary and selfless contribution to the public and society as a whole of people working in control rooms for the police, fire, ambulance and emergency rescue services, as well as the aviation and transportation sectors.

The launch of the 2019 awards follow the success of the inaugural event earlier this year when, on an evening of high emotion, individuals and teams were recognised for demonstrating remarkable skill, professionalism and resilience in responding to crisis situations.

Last year’s winners included:

·         London Fire Brigade’s Two Watch control room team for their calm and collected response to the Grenfell Tower inferno, which helped many people to escape the burning building.

·         David (Edd) Redwood, of Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service, who demonstrated exceptional performance and collaboration with several services in the multi-agency management of a flash flooding situation and helped save the life of an elderly woman trapped in rapidly-rising floodwater.

·         Leanne Ross, from Police Scotland, who showed exemplary call-handling skills in dealing calmly and effectively with an extremely traumatic incident in which critical injuries had been inflicted by a suspect armed with a chainsaw.

·         And Jules Lockett, from London Ambulance Service, for her outstanding work, including supporting the mental wellbeing of staff and breaking down the stigma around mental health within the emergency services.

The APD Control Room Awards are run by APD Communications, which develops critical, life-saving software used by the police and other emergency services organisations across the country, as well as transport and aviation operators nationally and internationally.

Entries for the 2019 awards are set to open in October, with the awards ceremony confirmed for Thursday, March 7, 2019, at the De Vere Orchard Hotel in Nottingham when finalists and guests will enjoy an evening of celebration, reward and recognition. The cost of shortlisted nominees’ tickets will be covered, making it possible for all finalists to attend.

APD Managing Director Mike Isherwood said: “Because of our work providing technology that supports and connects emergency services organisations and their control rooms we’re very well aware of the amazing work of staff in these operations and the vital service they provide to members of the public.

“However, because their work is behind the scenes, it is largely unseen and sometimes under-appreciated. That’s why we felt there was a need to recognise and celebrate outstanding performance and achievement in critical control rooms the length and breadth of the country.

“We thought the awards would be well received, but we were bowled over by the response and the stories of incredible dedication, professionalism and resilience they unearthed.

“For us there was no question that the awards needed to return and become an annual event. We’re thrilled to launch the 2019 awards and we’re urging organisations and individuals in the critical control rooms community to give them their fullest support and participation.”

Once again leading technology provider telent Technology Services will be the Platinum Partner of the awards. telent specialises in the effective operation of critical national infrastructure and is at the heart of many of the UK and Ireland’s best-known brands.

It has long-standing relationships providing frontline operational technology solutions to Police, Fire, Ambulance, Maritime Coastguard Agency, RNLI and public safety organisations across the UK and Ireland.  In addition, telent also operates within various other industry sectors including Rail, Traffic, Defence, Service Providers, Enterprise and the Public Sector.

Barry Zielinski, telent’s General Manager, Public Safety & Defence, said: “At telent we have a long history providing and supporting mission-critical technology, including control room solutions, for the UK’s emergency services. 

“I was personally delighted that telent was a Platinum Sponsor of the inaugural APD Control Room Awards and it is an absolute privilege to continue our support into 2019.  The awards evening was a fantastic celebration and a very emotional recognition of the incredible work and commitment of control room staff from all fields of the emergency services.

“Supporting for another year an event such as this, which highlights the bravery, determination and compassion of control room staff, was the natural choice for telent.”

The return of the APD Control Room Awards has also been applauded by British APCO, the leading UK-based association for everybody who uses public safety communications and IT, which will promote and publicise the awards.

Ian Thompson, Chief Executive of British APCO, said the awards performed an important role in recognising people working in highly-pressured critical control room environments, dealing with a huge number of incidents on a daily basis.

He added: “APD alongside its partner, telent, did a great job in launching and promoting the first Control Room Awards in 2018. The number and quality of nominations received showed the desire to acknowledge these unsung heroes and the tremendous work they do.  

“The awards evening was excellent and it was a pleasure to meet so many of those who had been nominated, as well as those who support them. British APCO is delighted the awards will run again and is proud to be a part of them and to support our Platinum Member, APD.”

The full list of APD Control Room Awards 2019 categories is:

1.       Award for Services to the Public

2.       Lifetime Achievement Award

3.       Control Room Dispatcher of the Year

4.       Leader of the Year

5.       Control Room Call Taker of the Year

6.       Community Champion Award

7.       Young Achiever of the Year

8.       Special Recognition for Bravery and Courage Award

9.       Team of the Year

10.   The John Gilhooly Unsung Hero Award (dedicated posthumously to John Gilhooly who served in the Scottish Ambulance Service control room for almost 30 years)

In addition to the return of the Control Room Awards, APD has also launched International Control Room Week, from October 22-28. The week will raise awareness of the life-saving and life-changing work of staff in emergency services control rooms who deal with harrowing and distressing situations on a daily basis.

International Control Room Week will also support a national programme offering mental health support to emergency services personnel.


Notes to Editors

APD Communications

·         APD Communications creates secure, intelligent and connected control room and fleet technologies that help organisations protect and preserve society.

·         Founded by two academics from the University of Hull in 1984 and still based in the city, APD has developed cutting-edge digital technology for more than 30 years and is an acknowledged market leader in software development.

·         APD made its name in the 1980s by designing and delivering the world’s first real-time bus tracking system, which then became the industry benchmark. Later, APD engineered the Eurotunnel communications network, facilitating connectivity between the British and French borders and inside the tunnel itself.

·         Today 69% of UK police forces employs APD’s technology, while APD also services the national transport and aviation sectors. The London Underground runs safely and on time with assistance from APD technology, which tracks train locations and supports control room collaboration across the 250-mile network.

·         Internationally, APD has an ever-growing presence, powering mission-critical control rooms in Sweden, Ireland and the United Arab Emirates. At Dubai Airport – the world’s busiest international passenger airport with 77m passengers annually – APD’s integrated control room solution keeps the entire operation safe, secure and running efficiently.

·         The company’s partners are an integral part of the service and technology APD delivers. APD’s technology partners include mobile communications pioneer Motorola; global digital solutions provider Avaya; network services provider telent; and digital transformation leader Sopra Steria.

·         APD is at the forefront of preparations for the UK’s new digital Emergency Services Network (ESN). APD is working with police, fire and ambulance services around the UK to upgrade to world-leading technology, enabling a business-as-usual transition.

·         APD provides its customers with a dedicated support team, available 24/7, 365 days a year. Every APD employee has official security clearance, ensuring customers can have full confidence that their sensitive data is in safe hands.

·         The company is showing strong growth, with turnover in 2017 reaching £9m, up 32% on the previous year, powered by APD’s market-leading products, including Cortex, Aspire and Artemis.

·         Cortex is APD’s Integrated Communication Control System (ICCS) used in more than 70 control rooms around the world. Cortex brings radio, telephony, CCTV and more together on one screen, helping organisations to connect, collaborate and communicate rapidly and effectively when it matters most. A trailblazer in this field, APD has developed and launched the world’s first hosted ICSS, at Karolinska Hospital in Stockholm, Sweden, supporting the efficient running of the entire hospital operation all day, every day.

·         Aspire is APD’s contact management solution, designed to help emergency services organisations to identify and protect vulnerable people. A software solution that can be integrated easily with existing command and control applications, Aspire provides APD’s customers with full contact history to make informed decisions and save lives.

·         Artemis is APD’s solution for fleet management and the remote transfer of data and information from vehicles to control rooms and fleet managers. The only technology of its kind built specifically for the emergency services, Artemis helps customers to improve use of resources and driver behaviour and ensure vehicles get to where they need to be promptly and efficiently.

·         These technologies work independently and inter-dependently to support organisations across the public and private sectors. APD is attuned to meeting the needs of organisations with critical operations that rely on instant and highly-resilient communications.


·         Dedicated to defining the ever-changing digital landscape, telent designs and delivers solutions and services that enable organisations to create, improve and maintain their mission critical communications networks.

·         With a proven capability, telent designs, delivers, supports and operates a wide range of solutions for emergency services organisations that include: Control Rooms, Digital Asset Management, Vehicle Connectivity & Conversion Services, Mobile Data Terminals, ANPR Systems, Unified Communications, Cloud Services and ICT Managed Services. 

·         telent’s industry expertise, technology partnerships, accreditations and committed teams make telent the partner of choice for organisations at the forefront of public safety. Having 2,200 employees based across 50 operational locations in the UK and Ireland, telent can reach any customer within agreed SLAs.

·         Clients include Transport for London, Network Rail, Virgin Trains, c2c, Arriva Rail, GWR, MTR Crossrail, Highways England, West Sussex County Council, Gloucestershire County Council, BAE Systems, BT, Interoute, London Ambulance Service, Merseyside Fire & Rescue, RNLI, Maritime Coastguard Agency, Metropolitan Police, Sky and Virgin Media.