Portland 911 struggling to answer calls ‘as quickly as possible’ – Portland, Oregon

Portland, Oregon 2021-10-21 17:23:44 –

Emergency officials said non-emergency callers waited 30 minutes on Thursday morning

File – July 25, 2019, telephone receptionist at the Portland 911 Center. (KOIN)

Portland, Oregon (KOIN) —Emergency authorities reported a longer than usual wait time for 911, and non-emergency callers on Thursday responded to multiple incidents throughout Portland.

Since 911 takes precedence, the goal is for the call taker to answer the 911 call within seconds. But they reported Thursday morning that they couldn’t reach that goal.

Emergency authorities said people were waiting for their non-emergency line for 30 minutes. However, the delay also affected the 911 line. Residents may be surprised to find that the person answering the 911 call is the same as the person answering the non-urgent call.

“One of the things that happens is that when people are waiting for a very long time in a non-emergency situation, they get frustrated and sometimes call 911, which causes further delays,” said the Portland Emergency Communications Agency. Said Dan Dortit. “We need to keep the 911 open all the time in case of these life safety emergencies. In some cases, every second is important.”

Thursday morning was not particularly unusual for emergency dispatchers in the Portland area. The city’s 911 centers are making 25-40% more 911 calls at different times of the year than they were at the same time in 2020.

“Even with full staff, it’s difficult to answer these calls as quickly as possible,” said Douthit.

October 2021 Portland BOEC update

Since the beginning of 2021, the Portland Emergency Communications Office’s ability to answer calls within seconds has steadily declined. The bureau currently has 114 call takers, dispatchers and trainees, with five training academies planned by the end of 2022, with the potential for 35-40 new hires. The bureau estimates annual losses for 10 to 15 employees each year.

The Portland Emergency Communications Office will also seek funding for additional positions during the coming year. The station also plans to add new technology to the non-emergency system in the hope of reducing the number of calls to the 911 Center and allowing dispatchers to answer 911 calls quickly.

For now, people trying to cross the non-emergency line can be found Online resources For incident reporting, try turning down the volume and calling again or calling 211.

Portland 911 struggling to answer calls ‘as quickly as possible’ Source link Portland 911 struggling to answer calls ‘as quickly as possible’

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