Union County 911 system coordinator’s service saluted
A celebration was held Tuesday, May 23, to say "job well done" to the coordinator of the Union County 911 emergency communications system.
The celebration also gave those in attendance an opportunity to welcome the system’s new coordinator.
The gathering was held in the community room at the Union County Courthouse in Jonesboro.
Union County native Jana Fear of Dongola retired May 23 after 22 years of dedicated service with the 911 system.
Fear was succeeded in the coordinator’s post by Crystal Gurley of Alto Pass. Gurley has served with the 911 system for 10 years.
Union County 911 system board chairman Steve Hartline addressed those who had gathered for the May 23 celebration.
“This is her special day,” Hartline said about honoring Fear.
“She’s very dedicated to 911,” Hartline said.
“This is a special time,” Hartline said. “I’m going to miss her. She’s done an excellent job.”
Hartline said that it had been an honor to have an opportunity to work with Fear. “She’s just a good person to work with.”
Hartline presented a plaque to Fear on behalf of the 911 board which recognized her service.
Fear dedicated her service not only to the local 911 system – she also was an advocate for emergency communications systems in rural areas throughout the State of Illinois.
She served on a statewide advisory board and was an important spokesperson for rural 911 systems.
“She’s been a big voice in Springfield,” Union County 911 board vice chairman Grant Capel noted.
“Jana has represented Union County really well,” said Illinois State Police Col. Kelly Walter, who also is chairperson of a statewide 911 advisory board. “She is a great person to work with. We’re going to miss you.”
“She’s done a wonderful job,” said Illinois State Police statewide 911 addministrator Cindy Barbera-Brelle.
As coordinator of the system, Fear’s duties were wide ranging and included addressing, digital mapping, working the system’s database and overseeing modernization of the emergency communications. Fear noted that technological modernization was one of the major changes she saw over the years.
Fear said her retirement plans include doing some traveling.
As she received good wishes and words of appreciation from those who had gathered for her retirement celebration, Fear commented: “I’ll miss the people...the friendships I’ve made.”
Fear served with the Union County 911 system’s original coordinator, Oscar Sanders. She noted that Sanders laid a solid foundation for the success of the system.
Union County 911 board chairman Hartline formally introduced Crystal Gurley as the system’s new coordinator at the May 23 event.
Gurley thanked Fear for her dedicated service. “You represent the citizens of Union County,” she said. “It’s sad to see you go.”
Gurley said that she was glad to have a chance to work closely with Fear over the years.
Gurley is confident that what she has learned will help to carry her through the challenges which are ahead, including work on the next generation of 911.