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Application ‘deluge’ for E-911 center

Updated: June 3, 2014 6:44AM



ST. JOHN — Members of the E-911 committee are putting out the official call for dispatchers for Lake County’s consolidated dispatch center, but interviews will not begin until July or August.

The committee also approved a sliding pay scale, recognizing the experience levels of dispatch employees at the 17 existing centers countywide.

Consultant Thomas Dabertin, who sits on the county’s Public Safety Communications Commission, said the commission has received about 75 applications from dispatchers interested in making the switch from their local center to the centralized E-911 center once Lake County completes the state-mandated consolidation.

Dabertin said the initial plan was to post the job openings in July or August, but many dispatchers who participated in informational open houses regarding the new center already have submitted their resumes and applications.

“We have had a deluge of applications,” he said. “... We want to make it a level playing field.”

Dispatchers who are hired for the consolidated center will be paid on a sliding scale based on their years of service as a dispatcher, skill level and overall qualifications.

Dispatchers with up to one year of service will be paid between $27,000 and $28,000; those with two to five years of experience will be paid between $28,000 and $32,000; those with five to 10 years’ experience will receive from $33,000 to $36,000; and more than 10 years of experience will mean from $37,000 to $40,000 in pay.

A plan to provide more vacation time for dispatchers based on their longevity is in the works but will not be made public until presented to the county council.

Dabertin said E-911 director Brian Hitchcock will be working within his designated budget to fill the available positions, and dispatchers of varying experience levels will be hired. Most of those applying fall in the two-to-10-year experience range, he said.

“Sometimes the best dispatchers aren’t necessarily the ones with the most seniority,” Dabertin said.

The first dispatchers for the new E-911 center are expected to be hired in September, with all on board by November.

Hitchcock and Jack Allendorf, deputy director, are reviewing applications for administrative positions, including an administrative assistant, training coordinator and two information technology jobs. Hitchcock said he would like to have those employees in place as soon as possible.



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