Rosie was accompanied to the Boone 2 fire engine, carefully placed into its passenger seat, and escorted home.

By Anne Eickstadt 

Editor

Rose Ann White worked as a dispatcher for Boone County for over 38 years. During that time she has spoken with many distraught, hysterical, or angry people having a very bad moment in their lives. She would calm them and send police officers, sheriff’s deputies, firefighters, and/or ambulances to do what needed to be done to help the people of the county. May 1 was her last day on the job.

“It has been a great career,” Rose said. “With everyone showing up today, my heart is bursting. I love my job. I love getting up and going to work.

“I picked today to retire because it is May Day, which is special to firefighters (mayday, mayday, mayday – distress call signaling a life-threatening emergency) and because it is Officer John Coduto’s birthday … was his

Over the last 38 plus years, Rose Ann White worked with all the Boone County emergency services and touched a lot of lives.

birthday. He passed away about six months ago.

“Dispatch is the heartbeat of operations. I will miss it. I was the first to find out and the last to know. I am honored to serve the

community and the guys (police, deputies, firefighters, paramedics, first responders). I can’t thank them enough.

“Thanks to Sheriff Ernest and Chief Deputy Gay for organizing today. Thanks to Boone 2 and 3 for last night. I am grateful to my family, friends, and coworkers for making my job great.”

Last night/Monday, April 30 was very carefully planned. Boone County Fire District 2 arranged to be waiting for Rose as she finished her shift at 6 p.m. They and members of the Fire & Iron Motorcycle Club formed an avenue of honor for her as she completed her day.

Rose’s daughter Rebecca went into the Public Safety Building to meet her mother and escort her out. When Rose exited the door,

everyone saluted and, flags flying, they held their position until she passed by. But Rose could not just walk past everyone doing her

ANNE EICKSTADT PHOTOS Belvidere Daily Republican
Boone County Fire District 2 arranged to be waiting and together with members of the Fire & Iron Motorcycle Club they form an avenue of honor for Rosie as she finished her shift at 6 p.m.

honor. She hugged each and every one on her way past, zigzagging from one side to the other.

As Rose reached the end of the avenue, it collapsed behind her so everyone was on hand when she was presented with her very own fire helmet with her name and dispatch number on its insignia. Rose was then accompanied to the Boone 2 fire engine, carefully placed into its passenger seat, and escorted home. The engine was followed by other Boone 2 emergency vehicles and a cavalcade of motorcycles and personal vehicles. The parade was joined en route by Boone 3 vehicles to finish bringing her safely home.

On Rose’s final day, Tuesday, May 1, as many first responders were in the room at the Boone County Public Safety Building as possible

Rosie was presented with her very own fire helmet with her name and dispatch number on its insignia.

for the retirement ceremony. Savino’s Brick Oven provided excellent pizza for the occasion.

“She’s absolutely amazing,” Sheriff Ernest said. She is going to be missed. She is part of our family. She worked constantly and was always there in time of need. Her retirement will leave a big hole in the department.

“She has been a dispatcher for 38 years. She always lights up a room and makes it easier to come to work in the morning.”

Sheriff Ernest acted as the master of ceremonies and took the podium first. “A lot of retired officers are here today. It’s really special that you guys came back to hang out with Rosie on her last day.

“I couldn’t sleep last night,” Boone County Sheriff Ernest said. “When I got dressed, I just grabbed a white shirt. I wandered around the halls for two hours and nobody noticed…

For full article, pick up the May 9 BDR.