San Francisco mayor’s budget plan allows for 90 new dispatchers
"Dispatchers are now answering approximately 1,000 more calls per day. That's about 1,000 more calls from seven years ago," Mayor Mark Farrell said
By EMS1 Staff
SAN FRANCISCO — The mayor of San Francisco announced that he plans to spend millions on hiring more 911 dispatchers as the number of daily calls increase.
ABC7 reported that Mayor Mark Farrell’s two-year budget plan includes $8 million that he plans to use to hire and train 90 dispatchers in an effort to maintain the city’s goal of answering 90 percent of calls within 10 seconds.
"Dispatchers are now answering approximately 1,000 more calls per day. That's about 1,000 more calls from seven years ago," Farrell said.
The city’s 911 center currently employs around 127 dispatchers, and some say they have been overwhelmed by the call volume.
"It gets tough when you have to work on a holiday and it gets tough when you think you're going home after working eight hours and you have to stay 12,” dispatcher Debora Zambrano said.
Fire Chief Joanne Hayes-White said their call volume has increased 25 percent in the last five years.
"We are one of the busiest fire departments in the country," she said. "We run over 150,000 calls per year and we pride ourselves getting to the scene within a five minute time period."
The department will receive around $13 million over two years for new apparatus such as Quick Response Team vehicles, which will include a new, state-of-the-art ambulance.