| Lauren LeBel
WestComm Regional Dispatch Executive Director Erin Hastings.
Reminder Publishing submitted photo
CHICOPEE — WestComm Regional Dispatch Executive Director Erin Hastings was awarded State 911 Leader of the Year.
The award comes from the Massachusetts State 911 Department and Massachusetts Communications Supervisors Association.
Hastings shared that she was nominated for this award by someone from WestComm. In addition to her there were over 30 applicants.
Hastings was awarded with a plaque and framed certificate at the Statehouse in Boston during National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week. This is celebrated annually during the second full week of April to express thanks and appreciation for 911 public safety telecommunicators around the country.
“It celebrates Hastings citing her expansive knowledge of 911, her passion for public safety, her drive to set and achieve goals and her strong advocacy for training and continuing education for 911 telecommunicators across the commonwealth,” said the WestComm Board of Directors in a written statement.
Hastings said she is “humbled” to have received this award.
Hastings was the first and only executive director to ever work at WestComm. When she was hired in 2019 — the year WestComm launched — it was for this specific position. Originally created to serve Chicopee and Longmeadow, WestComm has since expanded to include Monson, East Longmeadow and Ware.
Prior to working at WestComm, Hastings served 20 years at the Massachusetts State Police Dispatch Center and worked as a part-time police officer. She began her dispatching career in Brimfield in 1990.
“I still love it,” Hastings said. “I don’t think it’s work when I go in every day.”
Hastings also serves as the president of the Massachusetts Communications Supervisors Association.
“I have great support from [my] teammates at WestComm and the Massachusetts Communications Supervisors Association,” she said.
WestComm Board of Directors Chair Lyn Simmons said, “As the first executive director of WestComm, Erin’s leadership has guided WestComm’s growth and success. Building a Regional Emergency Communications Center from the ground up is a huge undertaking but with Erin’s experience and dedication, WestComm is a leader in emergency dispatching in Western Massachusetts. The WestComm Board of Directors is incredibly proud that Executive Director Hastings was recognized with this statewide award.”