Staff shortage impacts Gates County 911 Center

Published 3:24 pm Wednesday, December 22, 2021

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GATESVILLE – On Friday, Dec. 17, the Gates County 911 Communications Center enacted a previously signed Mutual Aid Agreement with the Perquimans County 911 Center due to sudden staffing shortages.

The implementing of this agreement called for the temporary relocation of the Gates County 911 Dispatch Center to the 911 Dispatch Center in Perquimans County.

Gates County officials said that due to the urgent need in providing this critical service, this move happened quickly which didn’t allow for advance public notification.

“And, as stated, this is a temporary situation to ensure that our citizens and visitors are provided the best services possible,” Gates County Manager Tim Wilson stated in a press release sent today (Wednesday).

Wilson added that as soon as qualified personnel are hired to fill the existing dispatcher vacancies that necessitated this move, 911 dispatching services will relocate back to the Gates County 911 Dispatch Center.

“Please know that regardless of where the service is being provided from, the citizens of Gates County will continue to receive the professional dispatching service they know and expect working in concert with our first responders,” he said.

At 6 p.m. on Dec. 17, Gates County telecommunicators began reporting to the Perquimans 911 Center for work. Working jointly with two telecommunicators from Perquimans County, the employees are managing all administrative and 911 calls, as well as all radio traffic for first responders in both counties.

“Due to the current set up in Perquimans County, all 911 and administrative calls will be answered as Perquimans County 911, so we want our citizens to be prepared for this change,” Wilson noted. “While this is what a caller will hear, Gates County telecommunicators are still very involved in the call taking and dispatching process.

“With any move, challenges can arise, but we are thankful for the overwhelming support of local, state, and private partners, especially that of neighboring Perquimans County, who has made this sudden change as seamless as possible,” Wilson said. “Please know that there have been no disruptions in 911 service due to this move. A positive outcome of this situation is that our 911 Communications staff are updating our current operational plans making us even more responsive and effective in providing 911 services.”

Wilson closed by saying, “We truly appreciate the support of our first responders and citizens as we work through this staffing challenge and want to ensure you that this is a top priority for the governing body and administration of Gates County.”