Some dispatch centers report increasing difficulty in filling openings


(WEHT) Earlier this week, we told you about how some pharmacies are having tougher time filling job openings. Now some dispatch centers in the Tri-State and other parts of the country are reporting shortages recently.

Owensboro-Daviess County dispatchers are training on a new communications system going online later this fall. But dispatch center director Paul Nave says it happens as they work to fill seven openings on their 35 person staff, which has recently gotten tougher.(Paul nave)

“We’re doing everything in our means to come up with solutions to recruit people, but it’s difficult nowadays with the staffing not available to apply. We can have a job opening, and we might not get five applicants,” he said.

“Just speaking with other colleagues in the area, they’ve had some difficulty in getting some applicants to fill those positions,” adds Micah Jackson of Tell City Central Dispatch in Perry County, Indiana.

Some dispatch centers in the Tri-State, and around the U.S., either currently have or have experienced shortages in the past year. The International Academies of Emergency Dispatch reports some centers are struggling with as much as 50% vacancies. Some dispatchers move on for new jobs, but others quit after realizing what the job really takes.(Micah jackson)

“We’ve had some people come in and sit down and realize the amount of work and stress at times that we have and incur. This isn’t just answering the phones, this is providing life saving measures,” Jackson said. He also says they just filled two openings, bringing them back to full staff. He says shortages lead them to balance work loads of current staff, but it doesn’t impact response times by police, fire or EMS.

“None of their services have declined because of staffing issues,” says Jackson.

(This story was originally published on October 29, 2021)

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