You don't always see them, but if you've ever called 911, they are the voices that help you out. After last night's graduation, the emergency dispatchers are now fully staffed. "It brings our staffing to 100%, which is pretty unusual," says Wayne Brandt, Director of Communications.
Before these seven new faces arrived, though, life for the dispatchers was quite different. "We often had to hire overtime," says Brandt. "So that requires people to work extra shifts. After you do that a number of times, you're probably ready to get a little bit of a break from that."
Jeremy Martin, one of the last night's graduates, used to work here before moving away and he remembers the stressful times before. "One of the biggest issues in my mind, was staffing. We were calling employees in on their days off on a regular basis."
While he cannot remember a time where they didn't answer the phone, he says being fully staffed will help their efficiency. "Now with the staffing levels as they are, I think it increases the overall efficiency of the division."
Crystal Lovings, a new face to Abilene, says after being here a few weeks she can't imagine how things were done shorthanded. "With us being full staffed, it's difficult. So I can just imagine being understaffed and having to deal with that."
So what does this mean for Abilene?
Well, the dispatchers all anticipate quicker response and more productivity. "Hopefully that will get a quicker response on us answering the telephones." Which will help relay the information to the emergency crews that work to keep you safe.