Most City offices closed Wednesday, June 19, to observe Juneteenth

The City of Portland recognizes Juneteenth as a formal day of remembrance to honor Black American history and the end of slavery in the United States. Learn about Juneteenth.

Christie, 911 Dispatcher Trainee

News Article
“I like being the comforting voice on the other end of the phone.”
Women with purple hair and glasses smiling next to smiling alpaca.

What called you to your career?

I grew up in Multnomah County. I love serving my community in such an impactful way. 

What do you find fulfilling?

Knowing that I am able to get help to someone experiencing their worst day. Most people only call 911 a few times in their lifetime, and I like being the comforting voice on the other end of the phone.

What are some challenges?

We have hundreds of hours of training from the City and the State, and are taught how to quickly gather information to get you the help that you need. We know this may be the only time you ever have to call 911 and might have a strong emotional reaction to the situation you’re in.  When you are yelling or using inappropriate language, it can be challenging to quickly gather the information we need to send you help.

When calling 911, please be ready to say the address or intersection where you are. Try your best to stay calm, and answer our questions clearly so we can do our very best to help you.

What is surprising about your work? 

We each answer dozens of calls every day about a variety of issues. People sometimes expect us to have answers or immediately provide help. Because we are not police officers, we often aren’t able to solve the initial problem, but we set up a call for an officer to respond and help.

What do you wish everyone understood about your work? 

We are getting to your call as fast as we safely and accurately can. We, too, are an industry that is short staffed. Just like the callers, it affects us when we see the hold time.