Board Says 911 Dispatchers Need More Training - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

3/25/04 - Smith County

Board Says 911 Dispatchers Need More Training

The Smith County 911 Communications Center has identified problems with its dispatching of calls and says it will work to solve them. This comes on the heels of complaints made by various fire departments in the county, including delayed dispatching of emergency calls, incorrect directions, and general miscommunication. Board members and other county leaders met today to discuss the cause of those problems and how they can solve them. 911 Director Eddie Goldsmith identified two main problems: the lack of training for dispatching fire calls and the lack of an updated computer system.

The Lindale Fire Chief, who is also on the 911 board, says these problems should have been identified long before now: "The decision we came to today is a training issue, that there's a lack of training, lack of communication between policy and procedures," Richard Bellar said. "And we're going to try to communicate better, get a more updated policy and procedure, train the dispatchers, and work together."

The board says the center plans immediately to purchase new equipment for the dispatching system and train its dispatchers.

Julie Tam, reporting.

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