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Athens County to add four new emergency dispatchers

By: Sara Lowenstein


Athens County 9-1-1 Emergency Communications is currently in the process of adding four new full-time dispatchers to its staff, a move that will cost it about $120,000 out of pocket.

The new dispatchers will be responsible for identifying emergencies and transferring the calls of those who dial 911, for example transferring a call to the Athens Police Department during an emergency.

The plan for the addition began Aug. 2 and will be completed within the next few weeks, said Chief of Operations Doug Bentley. The process will be funded by the center’s budget, and is necessary for it to properly perform its duties, he said.

“By adding these new dispatchers we will be able to more adequately meet our demands. More importantly, we will be able to reach and help more people in Athens County,” Bentley said.

The decision came from growing demands and a shortage of current staff members, including 10 full-time dispatchers and five part-time dispatchers.

“We will start by training two of the dispatchers,” Bentley said. “After they have adjusted and completed the training process, we [plan to] train the last two.”

New hire selection qualifications include proof of a high school diploma, no past legal history such as an arrest and the necessary skills to be able to complete an extensive training process.

These qualifications are not only important, Bentley said, but necessary to properly provide an important service to the people of Athens County.

“This addition will help our service in many ways,” Bentley said. “Our job is to help the people of Athens County and this [addition] will help us continue what we do but in a more effective and efficient way.”


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