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911 Bureau of Emergency Communications

Partners in Public Safety. Call 911: Save a Life, Report a Fire, Stop a Crime.

October 2016 Employee of the Month

Our October Employee of the month has been with Portland / Multnomah County 911 since April, 2015. She recently became certified at all positions and was actually on her first day back following a relaxing camping trip taken to celebrate certification on her final position.

After working several overtime shifts prior to her mini vacation, Courtney was actually working a short week. Her overtime commitment was much less than it had been for a while, and because of scheduled breaks she would actually be working a 9 hour shift with no overtime attached.

Not really a morning person, Courtney was happy about being able to sleep in for just a little while on this Friday morning. It was about 11am on a typical weekday morning. Courtney was about half way through her shift. Things were busy but nothing really out of the ordinary, at least yet!! Just as Courtney was preparing to rotate to a different position a 911 call came in to her work station. Promptly answering the call, Courtney heard a frantic male reporting that his friend had been shot. He was extremely distraught, making it difficult to extract information from him. Courtney expertly maneuvered between assessing the victim’s injuries and providing patient care and obtaining suspect information which was quickly provided to responders. Her line of questioning and attention to responder safety were above reproach as she compassionately questioned the increasingly upset caller about the level of his friends injuries and the potential suspects he had seen running away.

The caller apparently heard responders approaching and dropped the phone leaving an open line. Unsure of the circumstances, Courtney stayed on the line, calling out his name trying to make sure he was safe and uninjured. Once it was confirmed that the scene was secure, Courtney disconnected the call. Without so much as a deep breath, she answered the next incoming call.

Due to the usual daily increase in call load, Courtney was unable to follow the progression of the call as she continued to take calls and perform her assigned tasks. Ask anyone in this profession, seldom learning the outcome of calls that we take can be emotionally draining. Like Courtney, we can watch the news or read about it on line but we only find bits and pieces, never really knowing the whole picture or finding closure.

Courtney recently learned that an arrest has been made for homicide in relation to this call. It made her think about the caller and she wondered how he’s doing.