Little Rock City Board meets with the 911 Director to discuss staffing difficulties
Little Rock, Arkansas – Following a Working4You investigation, the Little Rock 911 Director spoke to the City Board of Directors on the need to keep the public informed about 911 procedures and staffing issues.
Director of the Little Rock 911 Center Juana Green talked about how it has been a struggle, especially with her staffing level being just 50%.
“Staffing shortage in the 911 industry is a nationwide issue at this time,” Green said.
Green attempted to explain the existing situation to the City Board and what needs to be done to create change after concerns over staffing issues and unanswered calls at the Little Rock 911 center.
“We are authorized for 65 individuals in our department, we currently have 33,” Green said.
Green claimed that in order to support the staff, she has worked with the mayor and the City Board to raise starting wages and provide $2,500 sign-on incentives.
To ensure there is always someone at the center, she changed their timetable in August and wants to develop uniform processes and technologies.
“These 12 hours shifts have afforded our employees the ability to have actual off days,” Green said.
Green stated that the department has welcomed numerous new personnel through training and she anticipates welcoming about 15 more by the end of the year.
“We have six new employees, they have transitioned to the floor for their on-job training and that is a 10-week process. that will be concluded May 6,” Green said. “May 8 we are geared up to start another new hire class. we are shooting for 12-15 individuals.”
She added that they are also arranging for another class to visit in September.
Director Green stated that the typical time to answer 911 calls in 20 seconds or less is roughly 70% when speaking about call times.
“Last year we finished the year at 79%,” Green said.
No matter how long you wait on the phone, do not hang up, this was a major stressor she wanted the public to be aware of.
“Our average callback time is within two minutes,” and “when you call, you are in a cue, the available operator will take that call. the longer the call is in the cue, the next available operator will take the next call. if you hang up, and you call back, you go to the bottom of the cue,” Green said.
Director Green stated that although they are working to address the staffing issue, she wanted to emphasize the numerous instances when things are done correctly.