MEMPHIS, Tenn. -
The problem of 911 response times in the City of Memphis has not been solved, but it has gotten profoundly better.
The numbers tell the story. In December of 2015 a caller waited almost a minute. The time dropped to under 14 seconds one year later.
FOX13's Greg Coy asked what brought about the turn around. "Staffing, getting people in the chairs. So, developing part time call taker positions anything that put bodies in the chairs showed immediate improvement," said Mike Sullivan, supervisor for MPD 911 Center.
The City is pushing to have a staff of 145 dispatchers, and it now has about 135. Add to that compliment, another 30 part time employees, and the city hopes to continue to lower the number 911 calls when the person on the other end just hangs up.
Sullivan told FOX13, "Having enough bodies in the chair, and we knew all along that is what we needed to do and we just need to streamline hiring and training."
The other big push is to finish building a new 911 center. The current location is crowded.
A new facility is being built to house more staff and new radio system that will come on line.
The council committee told us those changes could have Memphis meet the national standard. "Hopefully in the next 9 months, I think at the rate that we are going and having part time people fill in the gaps during the high peak volume areas. I think 12 months would be a reasonable goal," said Sullivan.
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