A South Carolina county is struggling to find enough dispatchers to take 911 emergency calls.
Spartanburg County Director of Communications Mike Flynn says he rarely has all the operators he needs, but the problem is especially acute these days with 12 jobs open.
When the telephones get very busy and they’re ringing off the hook, that’s stressful in itself, just knowing there’s somebody on the other end of that line that needs your help but you’re so busy answering other calls and answering the radio that you can’t get to them quick enough. That’s just an awful feeling to hear that phone ringing,” Flynn told the Herald-Journal of Spartanburg .
Floyd is currently asking full-time employees to work overtime and using firefighters and others to fill in part time.
Answering 911 calls is demanding and takes three to five months of training. Less than a quarter of applicants pass the initial aptitude test and more get weeded out when they see what the job is about, Floyd said.