Dispatchers provide valuable service to community

BATAVIA, OH (April 10, 2023) –The Board of County Commissioners has designated April 9-15 as National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week.

Clermont County Public Safety Services’ 911 Communication Center answers about 140,000 phone calls per year. Out of that, about 54,000 are 911 calls and 86,000 are non-emergency calls. The center enters about 88,000 police details a year and around 22,000 Fire/EMS details per year. The calls can be anything from a house on fire, a robbery, animal complaint or noise complaint. Each call is different. The busiest day of the week is usually Friday.

The center has three to four dispatchers on per shift, including at least one supervisor. The dispatchers work 12-hour shifts.

“We have almost 170 years of experience between all of our dispatchers,” said Jessica Wiederhold, Director, Clermont County Department of Public Safety. “A lot of our dispatchers are also putting in a lot of overtime due to the low staffing level, but they still come to work and put forth all the effort they can give.  They sacrifice a lot for our community and work so great alongside the other first responders in our area. It really does take a team to keep everyone (police, firemen, EMTs, and citizens) safe, and we have a great team here. Dispatchers are sometimes the ‘forgotten’ first responders. Dispatchers are taking calls from loved ones who have lost a beloved family member, and residents who have been through a catastrophic weather event. They do this all, while keeping up with the State required mandates of answering 90 percent of 911 calls within 10 seconds or less.

“I couldn’t be more proud of the dispatchers here at Clermont County Department of Public Safety Services. Thank you all who support us.”

Emergency Resource Supervisors

Sandy Snyder – 22 years
Jason Noonan – 19 years
Melissa Pollard – 15 years
Aaron Daulton – 5 years

Emergency Resource Technicians

Tonja Stahl –16 years
Jeanine Maxwell – 16 years
Sean Harmon – 16 years
Heather Goslin – 11 years
Amanda Goldbach – 11 years
Jonathan Gordon – 11 years
Jessie Bocks – 8 years
Markie Planck – 7 years
Stacey Davidson – 5 years
Kimberly Bray – 4 years
Johnathan Weinstein – 4 years
Leiah Niederhelman – 7 months

Interview with Jessica Wiederhold, Director, Clermont County Department of Public Safety

What are the qualifications to be a dispatcher?

The qualifications to be a dispatcher include having a high school education, no criminal convictions. The ability to type and multitask is the biggest requirement. Each candidate that applies must go through a “CritiCall” test. This test tests applicants on their ability to listen to information and transcribe it all while multitasking and picking appropriate responses to “emergencies.” We provide all in-house training once someone is hired.

What type of work did the dispatchers do before they started here?

The dispatchers we currently have, have come from a variety of backgrounds. Some came from fast food restaurants, gyms, vets office, and a few from other dispatch agencies. However, most haven’t had prior experience in a 911 center before.

How do dispatchers manage their stress? This had got to be a high-stress job at times.

Dispatching is a very stressful job, especially with our current low staffing. Unfortunately, while on duty, dispatchers aren’t able to get much of a break from it. Even when they can get out for a break, they know that they could possibly be called in from their break if it gets busy in the dispatch center. We have started to invite “Pet Partners of Greater Cincinnati” to bring in their support dogs to stop in and occasionally visit. The dispatchers have been very happy with this! Outside of dispatch, some dispatchers say that they workout, listen to music, hug/spend time with their families and pets.

How many jobs are open? Where can people apply?

We currently have seven open positions. We have a couple applicants close to being hired but will still have plenty of open positions. If interested our job listing is posted on the County’s website under “Emergency Resource Technician.” https://clermontauditor.munisselfservice.com//EmploymentOpportunities/JobDetail.aspx?req=58&sreq=53&form=BCC2&desc=EMERGENCY%20RESOURCE%20TECHNICIAN