Sedgwick County 911 to hire more call takers as call volume increases

Local

A crash near Kellogg and Meridian sent five people, including four teenagers, to the hospital Monday afternoon.

The Sedgwick County Sheriff’s Office says the car was reported stolen.

The driver ran a red light causing the crash.

This is just one of the thousands of phone calls 911 dispatchers take and relay to first responders.

This year the county is on pace of receiving 40,0000 more 911 calls than last year. 

With that increase, they are looking to hire six new call takers over the next few weeks that will eventually become dispatchers. 

“You always have to be prepared and do the best that you can and try to stay calm with callers,” said Rosemary Barnell, a lieutenant supervisor at the dispatch center.

She is looking forward to having more call takers starting in March. 

“They’re our forefront and the dispatchers that are on the radio won’t have to multitask as much,” said Barnell.

“As our community grows, as we have more things that visitors are coming into Wichita to see and do, and we’re just becoming a more exciting community, a more vibrant community, all of that brings with it different challenges for public safety,” said Elora Forshee, director at Sedgwick County 911.

It all starts with a call. That information is relayed to the law enforcement officer so that officer knows where and how to respond.

That was the case for Deputy Alex Alvarez Monday afternoon, as he had to work the accident involving the stolen vehicle in Wichita. 

And, because of all the officers responding to that and other calls, Deputy William Grissom was patrolling the area, waiting for any calls from dispatch. 

As someone who’s been with the department for several years, he knows the importance of having as many ears on calls as possible, to let him know where to go and what to expect when he gets there. 

“Wichita is getting bigger by the day,” said Grissom. “Sedgwick County is getting bigger we need all the help we can get.”

“The quicker we get your call, the quicker that we can get crews headed your way so the more availability of personnel we have to take those calls,” said Forshee. 

The call taker academy begins in January and new employees will officially start taking calls in March. 

They will work their way towards becoming dispatchers, who can direct law enforcement on where to go for calls, about a year later. 

For anyone interested in applying you can fill out a form here: https://www.hrepartners.com/jobdetails.aspx?id=32327

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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