The Durant Communication Center consists of dispatchers answering calls for eight law enforcement agencies, four ambulance services and 19 fire departments, 18 of which are volunteers fire departments.
“The Communication Center is the first of the front line,” said Communications Supervisor Captain Mike Woodruff.
Woodruff said each dispatcher can be on as many as three calls at a time while getting information to police and first responders.
The center has taken more than 54,000 calls this year. Each dispatcher may take about 100 calls on a slow day. “I’m amazed at the job the dispatchers do,” said Woodruff.
This facility recently received updates to streamline calls and help dispatchers aid not only the police on duty but the public as well.
The updated link on the City of Durant Website gives more information about 9-1-1 such as what dispatch does, what happens when they are called and how they dispatch to your location.
There is also updated information on frequently asked questions. Lacy Dillingham, the dispatcher updating the link, said this may cut down on information calls and help calls flow easier.
Also, dispatchers have gone from using three screens to using seven.
According to dispatcher Sheila Salas this helps by allowing them to have more program up at one time so have more resources available.
Salas said when she first began working as a dispatcher nine years ago they did most of their work with pen and paper.
Now that she has multiple resources she said, “I wonder how I ever did it with pen and paper.”
Salas is also working on a pamphlet for the Durant Communication Center which is meant to inform the public and help guide people toward dispatching as a job.
The center currently has a minimum of two dispatchers working at a time. Woodruff said that his goal over the next year is to raise that minimum to three.
“There is only two of us, it’s not enough people,” said Salas.
Salas said she hopes the updated link and pamphlet will help bring in some good people to the center.
Dispatchers are also getting new training both in house and online with national organizations. Woodruff said the center has had other dispatch agencies asking for their training program to better their own facilities as well.
Included in this training is upcoming active shooter training scheduled for early 2013.