Christmas morning, kids wake up as excitement fills the air at the chance to open gifts with family — a feeling comparable to when Darian Maynard returned to the Grant County dispatch center to begin her work as the new dispatcher.

Maynard recently graduated after three weeks at the Oregon Department of Public Safety Standards and Training where she learned techniques for stress management, civil liability, ethics, criminal law, overview of fire-rescue and law enforcement operations and more.

She also participated in a three-day emergency medical dispatcher course.

“This job is truly a blessing,” Maynard said. “It’s like a lot of days I can’t wait to be here. Whenever I got back from academy I couldn’t even barely nap for the night shift the other night because it felt like Christmas and I get to go back to work.”

The academy taught Maynard the agency she works for is very forward thinking in regard to debriefings, mental health care and more. No matter the call, there is a sense of camaraderie and unity as every agency works together to help people calling 9-1-1.

Maynard said, even when she first started training, she knew she could stay calm in emergency situations because of the support and common goal that everbody has.

“Everybody’s common goal is to help people, and that’s really cool,” she said.

Maynard said the Grant County Emergency Communications Agency did well in preparing her for the three-week endeavor. She said she is grateful the many things she learned from the academy.

“Academy was awesome,” she said. “It was funny, though, because they did such a great job training here (in Grant County) that, especially the first week, it felt like a lot of eight-hour review days,” Maynard said. “But later on we had interactive scenarios, and you’re still pretending to dispatch during a traffic stop, which could go bad.”

Maynard especially appreciated the academy’s ethics training, which covered risk factors for first-responders, overconfidence, preference for consistency and more.

“There’s always a call for help, but you never know and you really have to put your brain in gear, dissect the situation and ask the right questions,” Maynard said. “You have to check on them, coordinate, cover, calm them, connect them and stuff like that.”

Maynard said people should know that, when calling 9-1-1, they should always give the address of the emergency first so dispatchers know where to send help. She said, if someone is unsure whether to call 9-1-1, dispatchers can verify whether the situation is an emergency.

Maynard said she is happy for the opportunity to help the community she is happy to be a part of. Along with dispatch, Maynard is also planning to be a reserve officer for the John Day Police Department. Now that she is back, she can begin her reserve training.


Rudy Diaz is a reporter for the Blue Mountain Eagle. Contact him at or 541-575-0710.

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