Local agencies looking to hire 911 dispatchers

Posted at 6:46 PM, Oct 25, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-26 09:23:08-04

SAN DIEGO - San Diego County is facing a shortage in emergency dispatchers, and the agencies that are hiring are willing to train the right candidates in order to beef up staffing.

"These are critical jobs," said Jeff Hebert, president of the San Diego Association of Public Safety Dispatchers.

On Tuesday, the SDAPSD brought together more than a dozen agencies for a job fair in San Diego.

"Law enforcement and fire agencies who are looking to find the right candidates for public safety dispatcher positions," said Hebert, who added some of the agencies will train the right candidate.

"The ideal candidate is somebody willing to make that commitment to serve the public," he told 10News.

Those candidates are sometimes hard to keep, as it is difficult being a 911 dispatcher.

"It's not the kind of career that a lot of people stay a long time in because it's very demanding. It's shift work; somebody has to work on Christmas, Thanksgiving, and midnight shift," said Hebert.

Hebert said 911 calls have doubled in the past year and concerned citizens are sometimes placed on hold.

"You can have 50 people reporting the same incident because of the availability of a cellphone," said Hebert.

The number of calls on the same incident can often delay people calling about other emergencies.

The SDAPSD said anyone interested in becoming a dispatcher but missed the job fair should search the local police and fire agencies websites for job availability.