As National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week wraps up, the Frederick County 911 Emergency Services officials said they are going to receive assistance to help them better serve residents during emergencies.
“As the population goes up, our call volume goes up. Regardless of what economic positions are, more people are in the area. We’re a very busy commuter area. So, we get a lot of calls from visitors on the roadways, reporting vehicle accidents like that. Our call volume has seen a pretty steep climb over the last several years,” said Director of Emergency Management for Frederick County Jack Markey.
To help with the increased call volume, the proposed Frederick County Fiscal Year 2018 Budget will allow eight new positions to be added in the 911 emergency communications division.
“So, getting extra staffing is crucial for our operations and ensuring that we can handle that call volume,” said Frederick County 911 Emergency Dispatch Communications Shift Manager Barry Williams.
“We have an incredible staff who have taken very high levels of calls that come into our center. Almost a half a million calls this year will come in split between about 110,000 911 emergency calls and another almost 370,000 non-emergency,” said Markey.
In comparison to nearby jurisdictions of the same size as Frederick County, like Harford and Prince William Counties, emergency communications officials in Frederick County said they have been operating with less manpower while dealing with a higher call volume.
“Our county executive has been able to commit additional resources in her 2018 budget. Every one of those people that we’re able to add to our staff helps up better serve the citizens when they call and need assistance,” said Markey.
Frederick County Executive Jan Gardner said this is the beginning of a three year solution to add more resources and to increase staff in the emergency communications division.