TULSA - The Interim Director of Tulsa's Public Safety Communications says the 911 center needs at least thirty more positions to properly handle the volume of emergency traffic in the city, a number which would return staffing levels to what they were some five years ago before deep budget cuts.
Scott Clark, a Deputy Chief with the Tulsa Fire Department who's currently heading up PSC while the city looks for a permanent replacement, says he currently plans to ask the City Council to budget for 15 additional positions.
"If the city authorized 30, I'd take 30," he told KRMG. "But I think that it would be less efficient on the training side, because you have to train those people."
Currently, not counting EMSA personnel, the center has 86 authorized positions.
Turnover isn't bad, he says.
"We've basically had two resign in the last four and a half months."
Not bad, he points out, for a rather stressful job.
The 911 center is split into several areas of responsibility.
A 911 call is taken by a general call taker, who then routes the call to law enforcement, fire or EMSA call takers.
Law enforcement is further split into the three police divisions, Mingo Valley, Riverside and Gilcrease Hills, as well as Tulsa County and at times other agencies.
The call takers then pass the information from the caller on to dispatchers, who actually put the information out via radio to the units in the field.
Clark tells KRMG some of the primary skills necessary are the ability to multi-task, to stay calm and to elicit information from people who are traumatized and possibly even in shock.
The city is currently hiring for a dispatch position; CLICK HERE to visit the city website, read the job description, and fill out a job application.
KRMG has also obtained the report from the Mayor's Public Safety Task Force, you can read that HERE.