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Wayne County 911 center experiences staffing shortages

The Wayne County 911 Emergency Center is currently facing staff shortages due to factors like a recent death within their department and transfers to other County departments. Six operators have left within the past year.

A high school diploma is required to be a 911 operator, but other requirements such as the civil service exam, multi-tasking test, and necessary typing skills strengthen the barrier to entry, according to the Wayne Times. After the six-month training, odd hours including weekends, holidays, and birthdays as well as the emotional toll of the position are challenges that face successful recruits.

The last class began with 100 applicants, 75 of whom showed up on the first day, with 60 passing the initial program and only 40 applicants left after typing and mutli-tasking tests. Additionally, since the union contract was approved, wages in the private sector have risen amid the staffing shortages plaguing most industries.

COVID-19 isolation requirements have also contributed to the shortage, with staff members in isolation often equaling the number of staff members at the office.