Dispatcher Shortage: What it takes to be a Smith County dispatch - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Dispatcher Shortage: What it takes to be a Smith County dispatcher

SMITH COUNTY, TX (KLTV) -

The Smith County Emergency Operations Center needs some new recruits. Eight of the twenty-three Telecommunicator/Dispatch Operator positions are currently vacant.

Dispatch Floor Supervisor Amber Wallace says their main role is to “take the calls and dispatch them to the appropriate officer”.

The position requires undivided attention. According to Smith County Sheriff’s Office Captain Jeremy Black, “They'll have five screens up at a time, phone calls going on, radio traffic going on...the way they have to multitask is unbelievable”.

Due to the shortage of dispatchers, "they don’t get off holidays, they aren’t able to take their vacation days, they work 24/7..." says Smith County Sheriff Larry Smith.

They also must deal with people on some of the worst days of their lives.

“They hear and deal with anything you can imagine, good and bad," says Captain Black. Although challenging, he describes the position as rewarding.

The Smith County Emergency Operations Center handles radio traffic for nine law enforcement agencies, twelve fire departments and EMS.

For more information on the available openings, visit: www.smithcountysheriff.com

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