In honor of National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week, which annually takes place the second week in April (April 10-16, 2022), Governor Kate Brown issued a proclamation recognizing the critical role the state’s 911 operators and dispatchers play in keeping our communities safe and secure.
Oregon’s dedicated 911 emergency operators and dispatchers answer nearly 2 million emergency calls annually for law enforcement, fire and emergency medical services. Over the past two years, these professionals have additionally served on the front line through unprecedented disaster response efforts across the state.
“Oregon’s 911 telecommunicators are heroes devoted to public safety and helping others. They work long hours, remaining calm in all types of situations and quickly constructing plans of action based on limited information,” said State 911 Program Section Manager Frank Kuchta. “They are lifelines in an emergency, and the observance honors their skills, dedication and commitment to helping Oregonians.”
911 call takers, dispatchers, and technicians work behind the scenes to help citizens during emergencies ranging from mental health crises, car accidents, missing person reports, burglaries and domestic violence disturbances.
Since early 2020, Oregon’s 911 professionals have had the added responsibility of serving throughout a pandemic, historic wildfires, heatwaves, winter storms, floods and severe staffing shortages.
“On any given day, our public safety dispatchers have an incredibly stressful job; during the last two years, that’s been compounded as they’ve responded to unprecedented disasters in which they were the first to answer the call,” said Kuchta. “National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week brings well-deserved attention and recognition to these invaluable professionals.”
The critical work of Oregon’s professional communicators directly supports operations of federal, state and local government agencies including emergency management, highway safety, and search and rescue. The state 911 program was established by the 1981 Oregon Legislature and is managed by the Oregon Office of Emergency Management.