September 11th is “911 Day” in honor and recognition of 9-1-1 emergency operators, public safety dispatchers, telecommunicators and call takers

Today, September 11th is “911 Day” in honor and recognition of 9-1-1 emergency operators, public safety dispatchers, telecommunicators and call takers, and the vital contributions they make to the safety and well-being of all citizens. The day was firstproclaimed by President Ronald Reagan in 1987 with Public Law 99-448, and has been celebrated ever since.

Since 9/11/2001, September 11th has been recognized as a day of remembrance and patriotism, honoring those we lost during the tragedy that struck our nation. 911 Day, the importance and achievements of our emergency operators, public safety dispatchers, telecommunicators and call takers provide has been overshadowed since 2001. Rarely is there mention that on 9/11/2001, these dedicated individuals continued to provide essential communications to police, fire, citizens and response agencies during the attacks on New York, the Pentagon and in the aftermath of flight 93 in Pennsylvania.

These dedicated professional, courteous and knowledgeable individuals continue to perform their job 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and 365 days a year without accolades. They are the unheralded communications lifeline for police, fire, the community and many response agencies through severe weather, natural disasters, terror threats, fire, police and public safety responses.

Grays Harbor County Emergency Management would like to thank the Grays Harbor Communications E9-1-1 telecommunicators and administrative staff for their continued dedication, support and tremendous job they have done for all Grays Harbor citizens. All are invaluable to our community. Thank you for your service!



Wendy Richey


From left to right (standing) Shawna Ashlock, Katie Johnson, Sarah Saunders, Montesano Police Chief Brett Vance, and Katie Woods
From left to right (standing) Shawna Ashlock, Katie Johnson, Sarah Saunders, Montesano Police Chief Brett Vance, and Katie Woods

Katie Woods was selected to receive the Critical Incident Award for her role in handling this CPR call.

      E911 call 2014 award

 2014 Awards Story

In 2014, your local telecommunicators handled 112,317 incoming phone calls for assistance; 50,222 of those were 911 calls. In addition to handling those phone calls, they also processed 115,205 law enforcement calls and 17,405 fire and EMS incidents.


If you are reporting an in progress emergency, imminent threat to life or property please call 911 immediately.  If you are reporting a non-emergency call (360) 533-8765 or 800-281-6944 (in GH County).


When calling 911 the most important thing to know is your location.


Some helpful hints you can provide the call taker are:


  1. Are you in a house or an apartment, if it’s an apartment what is the apartment number?
  2. Look around for a piece of mail for an address
  3. Go outside and look at the house numbers or to the nearest intersection and look for a street sign.
  4. Is it a short or long driveway?
  5. How many stories is the house and what color is it?
  6. Are there any vehicles (cars, trucks, campers), parked there? If so what color are they?
  7. Land marks are helpful as well, is there a business near by, a park or something else that stands out with a common name or feature?
  8. Where did you start from and where were you headed to?


When calling, please remember telecommunicators and call takers will have a specific set of questions they need answered in order to send you the proper assistance and prioritize the level of response for that assistance.



As storm season approaches there are numerous resources you can contact in order to find out current information.


Please do not call 9-1-1 or the 9-1-1 dispatch center’s business number (360-533-8765) for road, weather or school closure information.


During periods of severe weather the 911 staff is very busy handling weather-related emergencies.  Calls for information may delay or prevent access for citizens with true emergencies. For instance, during the wind storm on 8/29/15 the 911 center answered 544 calls – where 309 calls were categorized as non –emergency!


For School Closures:


  • Please contact your child’s school or tune into your local radio or television stations.


In addition, your local radio and television stations usually provide internet access via their web sites to road and weather information.




For State Highway Information:


  • Road conditions 1-800-695-ROAD
  • Road/pass conditions: Dial the 3 digit number 5-1-1
  • Tune in to your local television or radio broadcast
  • Website –
  • DOT Cameras:


For County Road Information:



At this site: click on the Emergency Management website located  in the drop down menu “Site Features” directly under the picture, then Road Closures, then Map.


Click on County Departments/Emergency Management/Road Closures or Map.


For Power Outage or PUD information for Grays Harbor:


  • PUD: 360-532-4220
  • Power Outage Hotline: 360-537-3721


  • 1-888-541-5923


For Power outage or information for McCleary City Light customers:


  • For information or to report outages during business hours: 360-495-3667
  • To report outages after business hours: 800-281-6944 or 360-533-8765


For Water line problems:


  • Cities call local Public Works # at City Hall
  • Water District #2 (Central Park) – business hours 360-532-1828
  • After hours emergency call 360-580-2172
  • Water District #1 (Westport/Grayland) – non emergency 360-267-2411
  • Emergency # 360-267-0702
  • North Beach Water (Pacific Beach) – non emergency 360-276-5373
  • Emergency # 360-580-7907


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