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Putnam 911 Looking To Add Two Dispatchers For Call Volume Increase

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
Putnam 911 Looking To Add Two Dispatchers For Call Volume Increase

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Putnam County 911 will look to increase its department by adding two full-time dispatchers.

Director Penny Foister said if the employees are included in the county budget this would bring the dispatch staff to 14. Foister said that calls are increasing across the board and funds are finally available to add staff.

“We get money from the surcharges that you pay on your cellphone, your landline phone,” Foister said. “So used to, we would get $1.16 per phone for that surcharge money. Well that went up effective January 1 of this year to $1.50 per phone.”

Foister said that Putnam County and the Emergency Communications Board split paying a dispatcher’s salary. She said the next step is sending a letter requesting the employee additions be included in the county’s budget.

“Our call volume and the number of phone calls that we get, the number of calls that the agencies for whom we dispatch that they’re out running and that’s keeping the dispatchers busy on both fronts,” Foister said. “We’re hoping to be able to add two more full-time dispatchers just to help lighten the load to give us more help in there.”

Foister said the hope is that the county sees the need and that money is available to fund the positions. She said that since the two split the salaries, adding two employees is like having one dispatcher salary covered by either the county or Emergency Communications District.

“When 911 was formed the Emergency Communications Board and the county entered into an inter-local agreement,” Foister said. “So from that time, the dispatchers salary has been split, half and half between the Emergency Communications District and the county.”

Foister said that three dispatchers are working 24/7 and are split between two shifts. She said they work from 6:00 AM until 6:00 PM, working seven days a week and then being off the next seven days.


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