The Logan County Emergency Communications Center – better known as 911 – is one of the busiest agencies in our community. In fact, comparing data, it’s one of the busiest in the region. Logan’s ECC handles calls from 20 agencies including: numerous law enforcement and fire, emergency management, chaplains, animal control, search and rescue, coroner, containment teams, emergency medical services (ambulances), drug task force, and the general public. So far in 2015 alone, the local ECC answered 42,047 calls. And this doesn’t include all the GPS mapping and NCIC filing that is done.
ECC Director Ginger Lawrence gathered data on Logan’s ECC comparing it to other area agencies. She handed out the information to the Logan County Fiscal Court at its Tuesday, Oct. 27th meeting.
One of the biggest problems that faces Lawrence is finding good, responsible and reliable employees. According to Lawrence’s findings, the dispatch center has to send candidates to the academy for certification. This costs the county money and is considered an investment. Even though candidates must pledge two years of service to Logan’s ECC, it doesn’t always work out. Some pay to get out of the contract, while others wait the two years and take their training and experience elsewhere to make more money.
Logan County dispatchers start out at $10 an hour when hired. After they become certified, they land at $11.25 an hour. With neighboring counties such as Warren whose dispatchers begin at $18.73, it’s hard to keep good help.
“Area dispatch centers are very competitive and offer higher pay for less work,” said Lawrence. “We keep NCIC filing, which most area emergency dispatch centers do not. Some don’t even dispatch for their emergency medical services.” NCIC calls refer to wanted persons, stolen property or domestic orders.
Asked if she had comparisons to Todd County, Lawrence said she could not get in contact with who she needed to before the court meeting. Magistrates asked Lawrence to get some more numbers together comparing other counties and come back to the court to revisit the issue.
To contact Chris Cooper, email [email protected] or call 270-726-8394.