By Debbie Crosby
It goes without saying that men and women who have made careers as First Responders are dedicated to their profession. World events can bring global focus on a particular unit or department demonstrating heroism under extreme circumstances but those events seem to overshadow the daily devotion of every department. The members of the Hillsborough County Fire Rescue (HCFR) and Emergency Dispatch Center (EDC) pulled out all stops in a delightful yet touching cookbook, Recipes 911: Dishes by Dispatchers.
As if fielding over 280,000 calls a year isn’t enough, EDC members wanted to do more! “Dispatchers are known to cook a lot!” laughed Hattie Strickland, Senior Dispatcher and cookbook chairperson. “We are a 24/7, 365 days a year-week-day-minute operation, which means we work a lot of holidays, birthdays and special events. Cooking and sharing a meal together with our fellow dispatchers is very special to us on the days we can’t be home with our families.”
It was suggested to take their shared recipes and have them professionally printed. Once the decision was made, the group conducted an internet search. “When the free information package came in the mail, we were certain about using Cookbook Publishers,” said Hattie. “We also loved the excellent customer service over the phone. We often wondered if we were the company’s only customer, due to the exceptional personal service!”
The committee chose to submit an eye-catching full color custom cover that leaves no doubt who’s behind this jewel of a cookbook. Once the reader turns the pages, the dedication and devotion are driven home. The group received permission to reprint the poem “Anonymous Voices” by Lawrence Roche, a Texas dispatcher. Poignant and heartfelt, it represents how deeply this group feels about their lives and career paths. “With much gratitude, we sent him a complimentary book,” she added.
The HCFR/EDC’s talents go beyond daily duties and compiling cookbooks. They’re marketing approach is commendable as well. “We have created www.recipe911.org to assist with orders and we were even featured on our local news channel. We invited hundreds of employees from various departments to a tasting event called “Recipes Revealed,” Hattie explained. “Our dispatchers donated over 35 recipes and served them up for all to sample. We charged an entrance fee and also had cookbooks on hand to sell.”
All proceeds from sales and the Recipes Revealed event have benefitted four charities through their local United Way chapter. “We have designated our profits to Responder Life, Hospice, Humane Society and Love Haiti,” Hattie said. Using Cookbook Publishers’ U-Type-It™ Online provided savings and shortened the production time as well. “We loved the U-Type-It™!” she added. Submitted in October, the group quickly sold out, re-ordered and had additional books for holiday sales. “We are so excited about the amount of money our department has raised for charity!” The group has raised just over $2,000.00 and sales are still going strong!
To order a copy of “Recipes 911,” send $10.00 plus $3.00 in postage and packing to:
Hattie Strickland, Senior Dispatcher 2711 E. Hanna Ave. Tampa FL 33610
Or, visit the department’s website at: www.recipe911.org
Cookbook Publishers has been dedicated to insuring our customers’ success since 1947. Get fired up about fundraising and start today by visiting our website: www.cookbookpublishers.com or calling the toll-free customer service line at 1-800-227-7282.