July 05, 2005
So Who Does 911 Call For An Emergency

Audit warns staffing shortage hampering Houston's 911 center

City Controller, Anisse Parker, has put out the results of her audit on the Houston Emergency Center and the results aren't good:

Parker's report cites "pervasively" low morale among the center's employees, who handle 911 calls, process them for the police and fire departments and dispatch accordingly.

The center also has been plagued by equipment and software problems. Another recent audit found most of those issues had been resolved.

Parker's audit found that the center, opened in 2003 to improve emergency service by bringing fire and police dispatchers and 911 call takers under one roof, could save $6.7 million with changes recommended by the auditors.

Yeah, cost savings are all fine and well. But here's to hoping the repairs make a dent in the service delivered, as well. Emergency Centers are, quite frequently, a hellish place to staff and organize. They take a backseat to the frontline services performed by fire, ambulance, and police work. It's a tough job that few aspire to, but it often makes a huge difference for the person calling. Here's to hoping Anisse, Mayor White, and the rest of council find a good balance in this mess.

Posted by Greg Wythe on July 05, 2005 to Local politics | TrackBack