OREGON, USA — A new statewide emergency management position at 211info aims to streamline services in Oregon during ongoing emergencies and challenges.
Kerry Hoeschen has been with the nonprofit for about two years and served as 211info's COVID-19 program manager. She is now stepping into a newly created role as statewide emergency management director.
"We are seeing increased need across the board," Hoeschen told KGW. "Emergency after emergency after emergency over the last few years."
In her new role, Hoeschen will lead 211info's emergency planning, processes and partnership development with other agencies.
"Better preparing internal operations to be more responsive and more quickly responsive," Hoeschen explained.
"Between COVID-19 and the climate crisis, we're starting to see years with multiple emergencies: extreme weather events, wildfires and the ripple effects of two years of living through a pandemic have taken a toll," said Dan Herman, 211info's CEO. "This new role will enable Kerry and her team to create more structure to streamline our organization's response."
Hoeschen will lead 211info's emergency management team and work closely with local, regional and state emergency management organizations. She will also continue managing the COVID-19 and vaccine lines and oversee the disaster case management line.
"When emergencies come up, we have to quickly stand up and organize a lot of moving parts," Hoeschen said. "I hope to help establish more cohesive and coordinated response strategies for Oregonians when they need help most."
211info has tripled in size over the past two years and is still hiring for new positions.
After the historic heat wave in summer 2021 that killed about 100 Oregonians, 211info shifted to operate 24/7.
The new position was made possible by investments by the Oregon Legislature.