Blue Line

Winnipeg Police Service’s Robert Kubisch named 2023 PSAP Technician of the Year

November 20, 2023  By James Ham

Submitted photo

Nov. 20, 2023, Winnipeg, Man. – Robert Kubisch often thinks about the advice he was given when he first took on the demanding role of the Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP) Information System Specialist for the Winnipeg Police Service (WPS).

It drives him daily, so much so that he repeated that message upon receiving NICE Systems PSAP’s Finest Award – Technician of the Year in front of a room packed with colleagues from the Communications Division and the Information Technology & Solutions Division.

“When I started, Cindy Kirby was the manager, and she said to me, ‘You know, Robert, anybody can do this job, but you have to care. You have to care about the work that you do, and you have to care about the people that you support, because if you don’t, they’re going to see that and it won’t be that successful. So, get out there, do your best and show compassion and care for everyone.’ That has really stuck with me, and I’ve tried to bring that through in all the work that I do,” said Kubisch.

This mindset has served Kubisch well, and his ability to put those words into action has served the Emergency Communications Centre well, as the division serves as a trusted lifeline between the public and the emergency services they require.

Kubisch is responsible and accountable for the independent maintenance, support and operation of all information systems and technology critical to the delivery and support of 9-1-1 and Communication Centre public safety services. This includes the areas of public safety telephony (both emergency 9-1-1 and non-emergency telephony in the PSAP), text services, servers, voice recording systems, internet and other related operating systems.

He works closely with technology vendors and various telecommunications carriers to lead programs to proactively manage the risk of technology failure and to provide guidance and direction in the resolution of trouble relating to 911 and Communication Center public safety service operations.

Submitted photo

It’s a massive undertaking that Kubisch doesn’t take lightly or without recognition of the contributions of the teams in Information Systems and the Communications Centre that make it all possible.

“There’s no way one person could support a PSAP,” says Kubisch. “Although the recognition comes this way to just me, it’s a team effort. Fortunately for me, I have two teams that I can count on. Not many people can say that: Information Systems and the Communications Division.”

“Robert provides essential support to the Winnipeg Police Service PSAP with his innovative ideas, a welcoming attitude, patience and a strong work ethic,” wrote Stacey Cann in submitting the nomination. “It’s common for Robert to also put the members of the communication center first. Robert always vocalizes compassion for his colleagues, recognizing their difficult jobs and going out of his way to ensure technology supports them in their work. I’m so happy to see him recognized in this fashion.”

The Technician of the Year award is presented annually at NICE’s PSAPs’ Finest Awards, recognizing dedicated individuals and team standouts in public safety emergency communications.

Kubisch’s award was one of nine presented this year. Winners are selected by an independent panel of volunteer judges from the public safety community who evaluate nominees based on their skills, knowledge, professionalism and dedication to service in their communities.

“I just want to make sure everything’s working” says Kubisch. “They (emergency Communications Centre staff) have a hard enough job. I always said if I can make their day a little bit better by taking away any frustration or complication, then making their day better makes my day better.”

PSAPs’ Finest Awards are presented for outstanding contributions to the field of public safety in the following categories: telecommunicator, line supervisor, technician, trainer, communications center director/manager, innovator, above and beyond, lifetime achievement and PSAP of the Year.

“As a 9-1-1 professional, whether you’re handling emergency calls, supervising staff, training new recruits, innovating new ways to do things, or making technology work, you play a vital role in connecting the public to the emergency services in times of crisis,” said John Winia, NICE Systems who was in Winnipeg to present the award. “NICE is honoured to be able to play a small role in recognizing emergency communications professionals who do this essential life-changing work day after day through our PSAP’s Finest Awards.”

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