NORFOLK - The Norfolk Emergency Operations Center is looking to hire more dispatchers to answer your 9-11 calls.
Right now, the department is 11 dispatchers short. This means current dispatchers are working overtime in order to fill the gap.
Despite the shortage of dispatchers, officials stress the center is always fully staffed with employees working overtime. Staff also says won’t see service delays if you call 911.
Director Jim Redick says it’s tough to find good candidates because dispatchers have to pass screening tests and psychological evaluations to make sure they can handle the tough calls. They also have to pass criminal background checks to help make sure they won't share the sensitive information they learn.
Manager Tony Castillo says current dispatches are working voluntary overtime to cover the shifts. The maximum hours they can work is 12, instead of the normal eight. He is concerned about workers getting tired and burned out.
Castillo says this year they have a greater shortage because several people retired.
He says it takes about two years to train a dispatcher.
The City of Norfolk is asking potential candidates to visit the City of Norfolk Website and under “Request Job Notification” complete the requested information.
"Because the City is working through its hiring process to fill these vacancies, they don’t anticipate the job to be posted until February. The process includes polygraphs, criminal history checks, drug screening, personality trait test, employment and reference verification. When the job is posted on the site, you will receive notification and will be able to apply from there," officials said.