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911 Emergency Dispatchers Honored For Service

Oregon Office of Emergency Management

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.”   

Credit Oregon Office of Emergency Management
Telecommunicator at the ready in a 911 center in Umatilla.

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.

Credit Oregon Office of Emergency Management
Oregon Governor Kate Brown signed a proclamation honoring the work of Public Safety Telecommunicators every second week in April.

Tiffany joined the KLCC News team in 2007. She studied journalism at the University of Missouri-Columbia and has worked in a variety of media including television and daily print news. For KLCC, Tiffany reports on health care, social justice and local/regional news. She has won awards from Oregon Associated Press, PRNDI, and Education Writers Association.
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