In the Midst of COVID-19 Response, a Thanks to Public Safety Telecommunicators

Salem, OR – April 17, 2020 – As the State of Oregon, and states across the nation, grapple with the COVID-19 pandemic and efforts to keep communities safe and informed, it’s more important than ever to recognize 9-1-1 operators in Oregon. 

This week is National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week, as established by the Association of Public Safety Communications Officials (APCO).  We acknowledge these devoted professionals who take emergency calls and/or dispatch appropriate police, fire and medical services to the location of the emergency.  

9-1-1 operators are a vital element of a city or county emergency services system. They are professionally-trained in order to meet the demands of crucial work that ensures information is communicated quickly and clearly, and accurately relayed to the appropriate agency. They must also track the information in a computer or other dispatch system, all while remaining calm, courteous and confident to keep the caller at ease. 

“We rely on our 9-1-1 communicators to be the calm voice on the other end of the phone when Oregonians need help most. They show their dedication and commitment to serve their communities day in and day out, and we are grateful for all they do – this week and throughout the year,” says Andrew Phelps, director of Oregon’s Office of Emergency Management. 

The 9-1-1 program in Oregon was established by the 1981 Oregon Legislature, and is managed by the Oregon Office of Emergency Management.