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From left: Kathy Cuthbert and Toronto Fire District Chief Ray Pade of the fire department; Toronto Police Service communications operator Lindsay Wheeler; and EMS communications operator Melissa Bender.

Four members of Toronto's emergency-services operations were given Communicators of the Year awards Thursday at Emergency Medical Services headquarters in the city's north end. They are Kathy Cuthbert and Toronto Fire District Chief Ray Pade of the fire department, who helped in speeding up response times; Toronto Police Service communications operator Lindsay Wheeler, who fielded the initial call about the Eaton Centre shootings last June; and EMS communications operator Melissa Bender, lauded for her long-time contribution as a role model.

Timothy Appleby

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