WAMU 88.5 : News

Filed Under:

Montgomery County Considers Shorter 911 Dispatch Shifts

Play associated audio

The long shifts for 911 call center workers in Montgomery County aren't going anywhere for a while, despite a 911 dispatcher falling asleep during a call in April.

The county was in the process of making sweeping changes to its call center when the incident occurred. A woman called in when her husband had trouble breathing and was turning blue. She was greeted by silence. The dispatcher was well into a 24-hour shift, and had nodded off.

Those shifts are the longest of any in the region for 911 dispatchers, calling into question whether they should be shortened. 

Montgomery County Fire Chief Richard Bowers acknowledges "challenges" exist in having to work that long, but he says there are many benefits. For one thing, the length of the shifts ensures the same people -- both dispatchers and firefighters -- consistently work together. 

"When you and I are working together, that means we know we will be working the next shift together," Bowers says. 

The 24-hour shifts are part of collective bargaining agreements, meaning any changes would have to be negotiated. The earliest any changes could be implemented is July of 2013.

NPR

'Neither Snow Nor Rain' Celebrates History Of U.S. Postal Service

NPR's Robert Siegel talks with author Devin Leonard whose new book, Neither Snow Nor Rain, celebrates the history of the U.S. Postal Service.
WAMU 88.5

Should Local Restaurants Retire The Phrase, "Farm To Table?"

Where does Washington restaurant food really come from? Kojo explores how the phrase "farm to table" is used and discusses whether it should be retired altogether.

WAMU 88.5

The Results Of Tuesday's Indiana Primaries

Guest host Lisa Desjardins talks with NPR's Ron Elving about what the results of Tuesday's primaries in Indiana mean for the 2016 presidential race.

NPR

Google And Fiat Chrysler Partner To Make Self-Driving Minivans

This is the first time Google has worked directly with an automaker to integrate its self-driving technology into a passenger vehicle, the companies said in a joint statement.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.