LITTLE ROCK, Ark.(KTHV) - Change is finally coming for the Little Rock 911 Communications Center after a decade of warnings and complaints about under-staffing and long 911 wait times.
Since 2010, the call center has experienced a 56 percent increase in the number of calls it handles, and staffing hasn't kept up with demand.
911 Communications Manager Laura Martin said the center takes over 1,500 calls a day and dispatch a little bit over 500 dispatches a day.
The need for 911 will always be there, making the call center a busy place. Right now, they are looking to hire 14 people. There's a need for both call-takers as well as dispatchers. It's something that's been needed for the past several years.
"In order to answer, direct and enter in the system 911 calls you need probably 8 to 10 people per shift which if you have 14 vacancies certainly you have a need for additional call-takers," Martin said.
Recently, the city of Little Rock made the move to increase salaries by about $6,500 for call-takers and a little more than $12,000 for dispatchers.
"In doing that we have opened up the dispatcher positions, so that we may find experienced dispatchers that take a little bit less time to train," she said.
On this day at the call center, a new hire is being trained as a call-taker. In just 12 months he could be promoted to a dispatcher.
Martin recognizes the problem won't be fixed over night, but so far the salary increase has doubled the number of applicants this time around.
"There's a significant time period of time that it will take us to get a noticeable difference," she said.
Applicants should be able to multi-task, a high school graduate, cannot be convicted of a felony, have good memorization skills and accuracy in typing.
If you want to apply for the job, please click here.