The Pasco County 911 call center needs to fill more than a dozen positions immediately. They have 17 openings. Six of those positions are extra positions to help with any turnover.
Until they hire 17 dispatchers, the current dispatchers are picking up extra shifts to make up for the shortage. In some cases, they are working every day for nearly a month. Some of the dispatchers have not received a break.
"I don't know a center in our entire region that doesn't have openings right now," Kevin Guthrie said
Guthrie is the new Director of Emergency Services. He started in April. He admitted the call center had problems before especially because people would complain 911 took too long. He said they are doing better and he believes hiring good candidates will continue to push them in the right direction.
"We are definitely moving in the right direction. I think if you go to any of these people that are on the floor right now they would tell you that moral has improved, that the functionality of the center has improved, technology has improved, (and) the call answering rate has improved," Guthrie said.
Guthrie said their center is strained but not at the expense of putting people's safety on the line.
"We ensure that the quality of the call does not go down," Guthrie said.
If you would like to apply for a position, go to http://www.pascocountyfl.net/Index.aspx?NID=2506.
You can also apply in person on Aug. 24, starting at 6 p.m. The event is an open house at the EOC. It’s called “Can you answer the call”. They will have 35 computers for people to apply for the positions.