DAUPHIN COUNTY, Pa. — Struggling with ongoing staffing shortages, Dauphin County emergency response officials are calling for residents to apply to be 911 emergency dispatchers – and as soon as possible.
According to Jeffery Enders, Dauphin County's director of public safety, 13 positions are open out of 53 total telecommunicator roles. The deficit is causing working dispatchers to take on excessive overtime.
"We're down that 20 to 30% in numbers, which is requiring our dispatchers to work as many as 20 to 50 to 80 hours of overtime every two weeks," said Enders. "It is really impactful and it weighs on them heavily everyday, but I can say here in Dauphin County we're proud of our people they continue to put forth for the protection of the citizens of Dauphin County."
In an effort to get creative in the dispatcher hiring process, Dauphin County officials are hosting three hiring events for the role next week.
On Monday (Jan.31), Thursday (Feb. 3) and Friday (Feb. 4), interested applicants can go to different locations across Dauphin County to apply and potentially have an on-the-spot interview.
Monday's event will be held in Steelton at the Dauphin County Department of Public Safety, Thursday's will be in Elizabethville at the Northern Dauphin Human Services Center and Friday's will be in Middletown at the Londonderry Fire Company. Facebook events for each of the locations are listed here.
No appointments are needed to attend any of the hiring events. The starting pay for an emergency dispatcher is $16.71 an hour, and all applicants must have a valid driver's license and "a favorable criminal background check."
Other requirements for the job include graduation from high school or an accredited equivalency program and one year of experience working with radio and computer equipment.
According to the Dauphin County employment website, "an employee in this position receives and dispatches 911, emergency and non-emergency calls from the public, fire and ambulance personnel, equipment and services."
If applicants prefer to apply online, the dispatcher application can be found here.