CHARLESTON COUNTY, S.C. (WCBD) – Charleston County’s consolidated 9-1-1 call center says it’s working via main staffing challenges whereas ensuring service to residents doesn’t drop off. County officers say the variety of openings within the call center is continuous to develop due to burnout.
Officials say the county’s call center presently has 43 openings, leaving the center with round 70 individuals to do the job usually meant for 120 staffers. The county says it aggressively working to fill the holes each within the quick and lengthy phrases.
“No, this is a huge shortfall for us and it’s the biggest we’ve seen,” says Jim Lake, Director of the County’s 9-1-1 Consolidated Call Center.
With extra openings than ever earlier than, the center is being compelled to function at 58 p.c of the conventional worker capability. Despite being shorthanded, the workers are tasked with answering and dispatching tons of of requires assist every day.
“It’s created quite a dent so to speak in our staffing,” says Lake. “They are putting in hundreds of hours of additional overtime, some of that is forced overtime because we don’t have an option.”
To fill the holes, lots of the present staff have been compelled to work quite a few hours of extra time. Since July of 2021, the county has spent $1.3 million on extra time hours alone. Lake says the additional hours are taking a toll.
“We’re losing people because we’re burning them out because we are working them so hard to cover the vacancies we do have,” says Lake.
Despite the rising variety of openings within the call center, Charleston County says it’s been in a position to hold it’s accreditation for the call center whereas stopping impacts to service.
“Those hard working people who are answering the phones are doing a quality job at what they are doing, we’re still just short of the national standard,” says Lake.
To discover a long-term answer, the county is working with native excessive faculties to rent college students to start out in coaching positions with the hope of a discovering fulltime worker after commencement. The county additionally closely recruits on social media and at job gala’s.
For Lake, he says he’ll lean on the workers he does have whereas working to fill the holes.
“People that we still have that are dedicated staffers,” says Lake. “We couldn’t do it with out them.”
Both Mount Pleasant and North Charleston’s Police Departments say they haven’t been impacted by the staffing challenges. The City of Charleston’s Police Department says they’re working with the call center and have began utilizing a pc to ahead non-emergency calls on to officers to keep away from tying up telephone strains.