Pasco County launches ad campaign to hire 911 dispatchers

County needs to fill 20 vacancies
Posted at 4:43 PM, Aug 17, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-17 16:43:33-04

Inside Pasco County's 911 center, the call for help is going out.

Today the county launched an ad campaign in hopes of attracting qualified dispatchers.

The center is short 20 people. The high turnover is due in part to the entry level job status and the higher salaries that employees can get elsewhere once they gain experience.

"For the most part people are looking at this as a stepping stone to another career such as law enforcement," said Kevin Guthrie, director of emergency services in Pasco County.

"It's hard to get people to come in walking in the door knowing you're going to be in a high stressful situation, but that's what we're looking for, those few people who can answer the call," Guthrie said.

Guthrie took over Pasco's 911 center four months ago, after an ABC Action News investigation uncovered big problems, including un-answered calls and delayed response times.

"Those issues are gone," Guthrie said. "It's a new day here."

Since Guthrie took over, changes have been made. Applicants must now pass a polygraph test and a psychological evaluation. But those raised standards come at a time when the county is projected to grow by 200,000 residents in the next 15 years, when the call for help will grow even louder.

If you'd like to apply to be a Pasco County 911 dispatcher click here.