In the 21st century, more first responder departments are trying to go a bit more high tech. The problem is that going high tech for something like this can be both a pricey situation and one that can be hard when looking for the right kind of workers. KRQE.com is reporting that the BernCo 911 call center certainly understands the pressures of having the right amount of staff. The center currently has more than a dozen vacancies for call handlers and the effects of being shorthanded are wearing on the staff.
County commissioner Debbie O’Malley understands the difference a first responder unit can make when it comes to saving a person’s life. The commissioner told KRQE that her husband had a serious medical condition a few years ago that required her calling 911.
This is why the shortages at the Bernalillo County, New Mexico 911 call center are especially important to her. The dispatchers employed there have had to work double shifts multiple times a week over the last few months. Some are having to work six or seven days a week in order to make sure that no 911 calls are going unanswered.
The biggest problem is there a potential for burnout by dispatchers when it comes to normal circumstances. With these issues, that potential is quite a bit higher. One county spokesman said there are some attempts to rectify the hiring shortage and there are going to be about half a dozen interviews in the coming week. There will be more people testing for positions the rest of the month and the county is attempting to staff up rather quickly.
Bernalillo County says that the pre-hire tests are geared towards making sure the new candidates are not going to be prone to burning out. When the BernCo 911 call center hires these new operators they want to make sure they stick around for a while.
Edited by Maurice Nagle