Emergency dispatch is an industry struggling with a nationwide shortage, including in western Colorado. Montrose now has a dispatch center, taking on more calls from more agencies, which requires extra staffing.
“We’re sort of the hub for communications so when anybody in those areas need emergency services most of us know to dial 911, well those 911 calls come here,” says Mandy Stollsteimer, Executive Director of WestCO Dispatch.
Now the center takes calls not only in Montrose County, but also Ouray and San Miguel Counties. The center now takes anywhere from 300-500 calls per day. So due to that increase, they are needing more dispatchers.
“We’re looking for those people that have that calling to be a dispatcher, someone who wants to serve their community, put in their civic duty, start a good career path,” says Stollsteimer.
Stollsteimer says a variety of factors may be contributing to the nationwide shortage of those dispatchers including low pay in some centers.
“Taking a look at it as a systemic problem and not as one individual thing is a good approach to trying to solve the issue,” says Stollsteimer.
If you’re interested in learning more about becoming a dispatcher visit wcrdc.net