Gallatin Co. 911 dispatch center short-staffed

Gallatin County 911 dispatcher Monica Tripp works overtime to answer emergency calls throughout the day.

Gallatin County 911 is currently half staffed, and it’s forcing dispatchers to put some callers on hold, according to communications officer Monica Tripp.

"There's just not enough of us for staffing,” Tripp said. “This morning I had to tell someone on a 911 line that we were sorry we had to put her on hold but there weren't enough of us to answer the 911 calls ringing, so it's affecting us in here, and it's affecting the public as well.”

Tripp told NBC Montana right now the center is working with 11 dispatchers. At times, she said, just two dispatchers are on the floor to take about 300 calls.

"It's terribly stressful. We have to triage those calls and see whose emergency is more of an emergency than the other one,” Tripp said. “You know, whose is life or death and whose can wait for a minute until we can get the more severe one taken care of."

Director Jim Anderson told NBC Montana four dispatchers are training to join Tripp on the floor, but it could be months before they’re ready. Anderson said it can take anywhere from two to six months to complete dispatcher training.

To apply to become a dispatcher, click here.

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