In 2020, 9-1-1 telecommunication professionals in Oregon answered approximately 2-million emergency calls for law enforcement, fire and emergency medical services to protect the lives and property of Oregonians.  Since early in 2020, these essential frontline workers have been busier than ever responding to the pandemic, floods, historic wildfires and most recently a devastating winter storm.

Oregon Governor Kate Brown has issued a state proclamation to acknowledge these devoted professionals across the state who take emergency calls and/or dispatch appropriate police, fire and medical services to emergency locations. Each second week of April, this year April 11-17, public safety organizations in the U.S. and Canada recognize the crucial role of tele-communicators.

“When an emergency occurs, 9-1-1 operators are the unsung heroes who serve as the first point of contact in situations where seconds can save lives,” State 9-1-1 Program Section Manager Frank Kuchta said. “This week provides a chance to show these very important people some well-deserved gratitude.”

9-1-1 operators are a vital element of emergency services systems. The critical functions performed by professional tele-communicators also supports local, tribal, state and federal government agencies in the fields of emergency management, highway safety, search and rescue, and more.

“When we look at the professionalism and selfless service that our 9-1-1 operators exude, it is easy to see why this week worth celebrating,” said Kuchta.

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