Awards will give families unique insight into work of control room heroes during unprecedented year

1st Mar 2021

Control room heroes can share their achievements with their families during a prestigious virtual awards event recognising their vital service to the public during a year of unprecedented challenges.

Control Room Awards 2021 nominations open

Nominations for the fourth annual APD Control Room Awards are now open, providing a valuable opportunity to shine a light on the inspiring work of control room teams and individuals.

The awards, organised by control room technology leader APD Communications, will take place on 14 May as an online event, due to COVID-19 restrictions, and provide a socially distanced night to remember for the unsung heroes of the control room.

Control Room Awards 2021 portal

The APD Control Room Awards process has been made even simpler this year with nominations made online via

APD Managing Director Mike Isherwood will announce ten award winners on the night, including the Community Champion Award, which will be chosen via an interactive vote by those participating in the event.

APD Commercial Director Rhiannon Beeson said: “We are aware of the enormous pressures control room teams have been under during what continues to be an incredibly challenging time.

“Throughout the pandemic, control rooms have become even busier, in part because of increased COVID-related sickness and self-isolation. Call volumes have further increased and unprecedented additional pressures have been placed on resources, but control room teams have continued to do a fantastic job in the face of adversity.

“As an online event for the first time, the awards will enable control room employees to share the evening and their achievements with their family at home. That means their loved ones will be able to gain a unique insight into the professionalism, dedication and resilience that makes the control rooms community so special.

“Most of us will identify with the theme that it’s our families and friends who support us most behind the scenes, to do our jobs well, so it’s great that this online event will enable them to appreciate fully the vital life-saving and life-changing work their loved ones contribute, every day.”

Martin Lonsdale North East Ambulance Service

One of last year’s winners was Dispatch Supervisor Martin Lonsdale, of North East Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust, who showed incredible bravery in rescuing three people from an overturned, burning vehicle, moments before it exploded.

Control Room Awards 2020 Martin Lonsdale

Martin Lonsdale, of North East Ambulance Service, receives the APD Control Room Awards 2020 Special Recognition Award for Bravery and Courage from Matthew Griffiths of sponsor UKCloud and awards host Helen Fospero.

Martin, winner of the 2020 Special Recognition Award for Bravery and Courage, said: “The awards are a fantastic way of showing appreciation and acknowledgement for all control room staff who are often left in the shadows and are the hidden heroes of the emergency services. I’m very proud and honoured to have been recognised.

“I urge everyone to get involved and submit their nominations as soon as possible.”

Almost 400 nominations from more than 80 organisations were received for the Control Room Awards last year and organisers hope to build on that momentum this year.

While the awards have always been open to overseas entries, this year’s online format presents an added opportunity for control room teams across the globe to nominate their colleagues, particularly as they have all faced the challenges of the worldwide pandemic.

APD Communications develops critical, life-saving software used by emergency services organisations across the UK, as well as transport and aviation operations nationally and internationally. APD organises the Control Room Awards to ensure the outstanding work of control room teams and operators is recognised and rewarded publicly.

The awards categories are:

  • Lifetime Achievement
  • Award for Services to the Public
  • Control Room Call Taker of the Year
  • Control Room Dispatcher of the Year
  • Young Achiever of the Year
  • Community Champion
  • Leader of the Year
  • Team of the Year
  • Special Recognition Award for Bravery and Courage
  • Control Room Ambassador of the Year
  • The John Gilhooly Unsung Hero Award

This year there will be a competition for the best dressed virtual attendee and everyone shortlisted will receive treats delivered to their home, including popcorn, banners, props and additional special gifts to help them make the most of the occasion.

The nomination process has been made even simpler this year, enabling nominees to complete the online form and revisit it in their own time before submitting. The deadline for entries is 5 April and nominations can be made online via

Members of the control rooms community are encouraged to share Control Room Awards news and content on social media using the hashtag #controlroomawards.

The Control Room Awards is a not-for-profit event and its success is made possible by the generous support of APD and its sponsors. The awards’ Platinum Partner is once again leading technology company Telent, while other sponsors are BAPCO, the BAPCO Annual Event, RapidSOS, Red Box, UKCloud and the Emergency Services Show. If your organisation would like to join the sponsors get in touch with the team at

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