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News Release
Stephen Zipprich of Portland Honored as North America's 911 Dispatcher of the Year: Award honors an exemplary emergency dispatcher for professional excellence (Photo) - 04/21/23

Senior call taker and dispatcher Stephen Zipprich of the Bureau of Emergency Communications (BOEC) was honored as North America’s 911 Dispatcher of the Year by the International Academies of Emergency Dispatch® (IAED), the standard-setting organization for emergency dispatch and response services worldwide and the leading body of emergency dispatch experts. 

The award, given annually to an emergency dispatcher who exemplifies excellence in his or her work throughout the year, was announced at IAED’s 2023 NAVIGATOR Conference in Denver on April 18. The annual conference included more than 1,500 emergency services leaders from across the U.S. and the world to stay abreast of best practices in emergency dispatch protocols.

During the award ceremony, attendees heard the dramatic audio recording of Zipprich assisting a caller who had attempted to harm herself and expressed regret. Zipprich remained focused on proper procedure yet was also compassionate throughout the call until help arrived on scene. 

“When we started implementing new emergency response protocols in May of 2021, it was a challenging transition for dispatchers, but Stephen had a positive attitude and desire to advance emergency communications,” said Ryan DesJardins, Quality Assurance Manager with the Bureau of Emergency Communications. “He has the advanced skill of marrying great call-taking with compliant protocol use. He demonstrates great customer service, compassion, and professionalism, and he uses the protocol appropriately to optimize outcomes and keep callers, patients, and responders safe.” 

“Stephen is an example to his peers and doesn't hesitate to jump in and help his fellow dispatchers,” DesJardins added.

As a non-profit with worldwide reach, IAED provides training, education, and certification for more than 70,000 emergency dispatchers in over 50 countries. The Dispatcher of the Year Award is one of the most distinctive awards presented by IAED, created to identify and celebrate individuals who have made the most significant contributions throughout the year to further the values of IAED and emergency dispatch excellence. 

“IAED is proud of every calltaker and dispatcher who works as the voice of reassurance for a caller on the other end of the line. But there are a few individuals who stand out every year, exemplifying excellence under pressure,” said Pam Stewart, IAED Senior Director of Operations and Certification Board Chair. 

For more information about IAED, visit www.emergencydispatch.org.

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