The McDuffie County Sheriff’s Office is in mourning after a communications officer perished from injuries sustained in a single car accident that occurred July 27.
Communications Officer Sharon Gilpen Sims, who served as a dispatcher for 18 years, died Aug. 4 in Doctors Hospital.
The McDuffie County Sheriff’s Office reports that Sims, a senior communications officer, left her home on Zebina Road in Jefferson County at 5:15 a.m. July 27 for her shift at the McDuffie County 911 Center on Public Safety Drive in Thomson. As she traveled Zebina Road, she took evasive action to avoid hitting a person and dog standing in the road and lost control of her vehicle and crashed. She was transported to Doctor’s Hospital with serious injuries.
In an Aug. 5 statement, the Sheriff’s Office described Sims as a dedicated, caring and compassionate person. “Officer Sims gave her life to save another person and animal as she continued serving humanity as she did every day at work,” the department said.
McDuffie County Sheriff Logan Marshall, 911 Director Tracy Neal, and Becky Craven, a former dispatcher, also used the words compassionate, kind and professional in their reflections of their colleague.
“She was one of the most dedicated and compassionate senior dispatchers ever here,” Marshall said. “She will be missed. She was a people person and brought a lot of quality to the 911 Center. She was a professional all around and she stepped in when needed and would do anything to help,” the sheriff said. “She was courteous to everyone and she is going to be missed.”
Neal supervised Sims in the 911 Center. “She was a kind and compassionate person. She was a very good dispatcher,” he said.
Craven, a retired McDuffie County dispatcher, worked with Sims for at least 10 years. She said Sims was “a great dispatcher and she loved her family and her dispatch family.” Craven echoed Marshall in stating that Sims would do whatever she could to help anyone. “All dispatchers are saddened at the loss of her,” she said.
After the Sheriff’s Office announced Sims death on Facebook, acknowledgements poured in including condolences from 911 centers from across the state and country.