More 911 dispatchers included in county budget

6 positions to be added by next summer
More 911 dispatchers included in county budget

Dane County Executive Joe Parisi is proposing the Public Safety Communications Center add six new 911 dispatchers next year to address high summer call volumes.

In a memo to Dane County Public Safety Communications Center Director John Dejung, Parisi said an additional $225,000 should be budgeted to add the dispatchers in January so they will be trained when call volumes increase in May.

“Right now training occurs as vacancies occur, so you have a vacancy, two vacancies, three vacancies, let’s have a class,” Dane County Executive Chief of Staff Josh Wescott said. “Training and certification to be a dispatcher doesn’t happen in a day or two. It happens over a stretch of 13-14 weeks, so every time a vacancy occurs it takes three months to fill that vacancy.”

Other county departments are still asked to prepare budgets assuming no increase in revenue.

The memo comes as county officials determine how to address concerns about delays in dispatching, including a WISC-TV investigation that uncovered more than 5,000 times last year it took Dane County operators longer than 40 seconds to answer 911 calls. The county is also facing a including a notice of claim from the family of a man who died in a south side apartment fire.