WKYT Investigates UPDATE | Lexington E-911 call times improve
LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - Lexington’s E-911 dispatch is responding faster to calls.
In September, we reported that from January to mid-September, there were more than 1,000 calls with ring times longer than two minutes. Director Jonelle Patton pointed to staffing shortages as part of the issue.
At the time, Patton told us they had roughly 21 openings for call-takers and dispatchers, leaving employees working eight hours of mandatory overtime per week with only one call-taker working at times.
We filed an open records request to see how E-911 dispatch has done since. From September to December, there were only four calls with ring times longer than two minutes. That’s down significantly from the first eight months of the year.
“I feel like we are winning the battle,” said Patton. “And we’re gonna continue to strive so we can win the war.”
At the time, Patton told us there were 21 open positions, and employees were working eight hours of mandatory overtime per week. She says they still have 21 vacancies but have made other staffing changes to help with the long ring times.
“So the dispatchers that we have hired in, we’re training them first in the call-taking capacity, and then we’re using them in that call-taking capacity,” said Patton.
Mandatory overtime is still in place, but Patton is hopeful it will be lifted. For now, she says she’s trying to remind her employees their work is important.
“This position is essential,” said Patton. “The citizens deserve the best, and the responders deserve the best. The initiatives that we have implemented as far as bonus pay, retention incentives, I believe they have gone a long way.”
Patton says they are still actively trying to fill vacancies here at Lexington E-911, but in the meantime, she’s glad that the changes they’ve made seem to be working.
Patton says they have also implemented retention incentives and sign-on bonuses to help keep and gain employees.
Copyright 2023 WKYT. All rights reserved.