Several Triad 911 centers say centers are short-staffed

Several 911 centers in the Triad say their centers are short-staffed.

At Davidson County 911, the director said they are currently down five employees. Guilford Metro supervisors say they are short 15.

Guilford Metro Supervisor Angela Mitchell said dispatchers have retired, moved into other careers or said that the job isn't what they expected.

"It's just the nature of the job," Mitchell said, "It's a stressful job and if you can't handle it, people just move on."

Mitchell said employees make sure shortages don't affect any call response times.

"We make sure every call is getting answered, every call is getting dispatched. So we try not to give you less service because we're down. You would never know it because everybody picks up," she said.

Davidson County Director Terry Bailey said while a shortage doesn't impact callers, it makes things harder on current employees.

"The staffing shortage tends to wear on the current employees because they have to work a little extra to cover those additional shifts, so that does add to the stress level of the employees," he said.

Mitchell said when hiring, they look for people who can stay calm under pressure and communicate effectively.

"Someone who handles stress very well, a people person, good communication skills, good people skills, even just with your co-workers because we're in here a long time," she said.

Guilford Metro said they expect to fill nine positions this month. Davidson County also plans to hire several trainees this summer.