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Dispatcher of the Year!

July 12 Declared Stephen Zipprich Day

Senior Dispatcher Stephen Zipprich


Portland City Council will honor Bureau of Emergency Communications (BOEC) senior dispatcher Stephen Zipprich with a proclamation Wednesday, July 12.


Zipprich was selected in April as Dispatcher of the Year by the International Academies of Emergency Dispatch (IAED) from among 51 other nominees across North America. IAED is the standard-setting organization for emergency dispatch and response services worldwide and the leading body of emergency dispatch experts.


To be nominated, a dispatcher must demonstrate exemplary skill at their job and compassion for callers, involvement in improving the service that 911 provides, work well with their teammates, and show genuine care for their community. Zipprich was nominated by Ryan DesJardins, Quality Assurance Manager at BOEC.


“Stephen brings a positive attitude and deep compassion, demonstrating mastery of our policies, procedures, and protocols. He is well-respected by his peers and is an excellent role model for everyone at our bureau,” said DesJardins. “Stephen is representative of all the incredible call takers and dispatchers in public safety who are often never seen.”


BOEC began implementing new call taking protocols in May of 2021. This was a challenging transition during the Covid-19 pandemic, when many call takers retired or otherwise left the profession. Zipprich and others adjusted to this new protocol. His supervisor noticed his aptitude in joining great call-taking with compliant protocol use to help keep callers and first responders safe.


“I do this work because I love helping people,” said Zipprich. “I found the new protocols natural to adopt because they’re clear and help us get to what the call taker needs so we can get them the right help. I’m honored that I was nominated, more so that I got the award. It is rewarding for me just to know that I’m helping people.”


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.

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