911 Emergency Dispatchers Honored For Service
Last year, 911 dispatchers took 2 million emergency calls in Oregon-- responding to pandemic, floods, fires and a destructive winter storm. Governor Kate Brown honored 911 operators by declaring this Public Safety Telecommunications Week. (April 11-17, 2021)
State 911 Program Manager Frank Kuchta says as wildfires burned around the state last summer, dispatchers remained on the front lines.
“Many of the telecommunicators and dispatchers that work throughout the state have very close ties with their communities,” he said, “and in many instances they are very familiar with the caller on the other end of the line.”
Kuchta says during the wildfires, there are instances of 911 dispatchers losing their own property while working their shifts.
“Throughout the wildfires and the pandemic, telecommunicators experienced extremely high call volume and throughout all of that, calls did not go unanswered,” he said, “which is clearly a true testament to their commitment and ability to preform and support the citizens of Oregon in a highly effective manner.”
There are currently 43 emergency call centers throughout the state. The 911 program in Oregon was established in 1981 and is managed by the Office of Emergency Management.