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911 Center Director To Look Into Report Some Dispatchers May Have Been Sleeping On The Job

TWC News

The man in charge at the 911 Center in Rochester says he will investigate whether some dispatchers were sleeping on the job.  That’s what some photos posted on the blog of a local activist and blogger, Davy Varashow, although it’s not clear when the photos were taken or whether the dispatchers were on duty at the time.

John Merklinger, director of the 911 center says he’s disappointed upon see the photos which he says are a poor reflection on a highly dedicated staff.  He says there are systems in place to make sure that 911 calls would get answered even if a particular dispatcher is not picking them up.

“We do have things in place to try and prevent  those things from occurring, we also have safety systems within the hardware and software;  for example if a call went unanswered it would automatically route it to another position and things of that nature, so we don’t believe there was any degradation of service as a result of this if it occurred.”

Merklinger says if his investigation shows that there was a violation of protocol here, there is a disciplinary process. He notes that the 911 center took nearly 1.3 million calls last year and answered 94 percent of those calls in less than 10 seconds.

Randy Gorbman is WXXI's director of news and public affairs. Randy manages the day-to-day operations of WXXI News on radio, television, and online.