WWAY INVESTIGATION: 911 dispatchers describe overtime, burnout


WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — They are people you never hope to talk to, but you count on to be there when you need them.

911 telecommunicators have one of the most important jobs around, but studies show they also have one of the most stressful jobs in the country.  WWAY began looking into the New Hanover County 911 center after an anonymous tip from a current employee claiming the center is short-staffed, employees are overworked, and calls are not getting answered in a timely manner.

After the investigation aired a week ago on the center’s 57% turnover rate last year, there was a large response from current and former dispatchers voicing their experience and their concerns.

“When you’re sitting at work, and it’s your fourth, fifth, sixth day in a row, and you know you don’t want to be there, and your mind isn’t in the game, it’s a dangerous situation,” former New Hanover County dispatcher Selena Patton said.

Tonight on WWAY NewsChannel 3 at 11, we hear from some of the dispatchers that make up that turnover rate shedding some light on the staffing, the burnout, and how it may affect your emergency. We will also tell you how the county responded and how a new initiative that could help fix some of those issues is going so far.

Categories: Local, New Hanover

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