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Commissioners to Hear Strategies to Support Public Safety Communications (911), Including Pay Stipend

Buncombe County Public Safety Communications also know as the 911 call center

In an effort to address critical staffing shortages within the Buncombe County 911 Call Center, the Board of Commissioners will consider approving a pay stipend during its meeting on March 21. As the County grapples with high call volumes, an understaffed call center reliant on outside agencies to maintain operations, and long call and response times, we are working on a variety of initiatives aimed at reducing the volume of nonemergency calls, bolstering dispatcher recruitment and retainment, and other measures to help alleviate the volume of work. “Our 911 dispatchers are the first, first responders and vital to our community’s overall safety and well-being,” says County Manager Avril Pinder. “Making sure they have the resources they need is a top priority, and we are working diligently with our dispatchers to help provide them with additional support.” 

The proposed stipend pay would be for all telecommunicators who have been with the County for at least six months. The stipend would be for each regular shift and the breakdown is as follows: 

Stipend pay graph

Additionally, the County is working on the following short- and long-term strategies to help Public Safety Communications (911): 

  • Developing a campaign to reduce nonemergency calls going to 911 
  • Decreasing the number of alarm dispatch automated calls to 911 
  • Contracting additional support for training, recruitment, and quality assurance 
  • Providing operational and management support from other County agencies 
  • Improving Call Center amenities and technology  
  • Refining Call Center processes and policies 

Staffing at the 911 Call Center has long been a priority for the Board of Commissioners as they have approved various initiatives such as double-time pay, shift-differential pay, provided up-to-date equipment, and purchased new vehicles for EMS. You can read more about the proposed stipend pay here.

To livestream The Board of Commissioners on Tuesday, March 21 at 5 p.m., visit the County’s Facebook page. If you or someone you know is interested in a career with Public Safety Communications, click here for more information. 

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Published Mar 17, 2023 05:00 PM