Is your house on fire? Is someone about to come through your door and kill you? Has someone in your house suffered a heart attack? Well I hope you’re not in Portland, Oregon, where wait times on 911 emergency calls have grown to unendurable levels.
The national standard for the 911 call system is a 15 to 20 second response time. The mishandled emergency dispatch system of Portland now sits at an average greater than two minutes. On September 4th, a shootout at a restaurant caused a prolonged period where wait times were over seven and a half minutes long before an operator picked up the line.
The Oregonian reported that an official from Portland’s Bureau of Emergency Communications confessed that the system is “broken” and “horrible.” He added that slow pickup times on 911 calls started around “late spring and summer” and have continued to climb from wait times of over a minute back then.
Reports also show that the 911 response system of Portland has been lagging quickly, with the recorded incidents of calls left for over 5 minutes being just eight incidents in March, jumping to 221 calls in May, and 574 for July.
Portland itself is struggling from more and more lawlessness and violent crime with much of their police force having retired in response to radical leftist anti-law-enforcement policies.
Some few weeks ago, dozens of the city’s cops resigned as a group from the rapid response team, given that they had no support from city leadership. A member of the rapid response team was inappropriately punished for allegedly striking a protester last summer, leading the entire team to realize that they had no backing from officials. It was the first time in history that a city officer was prosecuted for striking someone in the midst of a protest.
The emergency communications department of Portland isn’t just facing rising numbers in emergency calls, but are also short staffed, having seen over a dozen resignations or retirements in recent months. One city official said that the situation has become “unmanageable,” and called the entire system “broken.”
It’s been suggested by Portland officials that the 311 line step in to manage some of the less-dire calls, but 311 operators are only available from 9-5 on weekdays.
Author: Floyd Harvey