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Huntsville Police Department reopens position to help with 911 operator shortage

Published: Nov. 1, 2021 at 10:16 PM CDT
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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) -The Tennessee Valley is facing a critical shortage of 911 operators.

These are the first people to respond during emergencies, and they help save lives.

“With these shortages, more calls are coming in than people we have available,” said Huntsville Police Communications Sergeant Ricky Stephens.

On any given day, in the Madison County Communications Center, you will see green and blue lights and dispatchers responding to calls.

“What we want to do is, we want to answer a 911 call as soon as possible, we want to get the information as soon as possible and get it to the appropriate agency,” said Stephens.

Stephens said recently, the department has been hit with staff shortages.

To help, the Huntsville Police Department reopened the position for call takers.

These call takers answer all emergency and medical calls first and then transfer them over to dispatch.

Stephens said the department is looking to hire six call takers for first, second, and third shifts. Applicants will receive the same benefits as all city employees, complete eight weeks of training, and will make $30,400.

“This job is demanding, you have to be able to multitask, you have to be able to listen and type at the same time and take accurate details of what’s going on,” said Stephens.

Stephens said although the job is demanding, it can also be rewarding at the same time to help save lives.

He said the current 24 dispatchers are having to do double the work, which can be a challenge and extends call times.

Stephens also noted it takes over ten months to complete the required training to become a dispatcher.

This increases the need for the new call taker positions to be filled, as soon as possible.

To apply and learn more about the career opportunities, click here.

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