CHESTERFIELD--Chesterfield County has seen a rise in the call volume for the E-911 center over the past year. Richard Carnes, director of Chesterfield County Emergency Services, addressed council members on the call volume and the types of calls the center receives.
Carnes said that the county as seen an increase of 10,000 calls per year since 2002 and the rate seems to continue to increase. The center received over 54,000 calls in 2007. Included in those calls are hang ups or wrong number calls. In 2006, there were over 6,000 such calls. In 2007, that number nearly doubled. The center received 11,701 hang up or wrong number calls.
"In each of these cases, dispatchers have to call those people back," Carnes said. "They have to make sure that these people are taken care of and there is nothing wrong."
Carnes said that some calls don't keep in mind what service is supposed to be provided.
"You wouldn't believe the amount of phone calls we get during football season asking what the score to the football game is," Carnes said. "We also get a lot of calls from people trying to figure out the number to a restaurant or business or to figure out what time it is."
To field all of the calls that the center receives, Carnes said that he has three people per shift to handle the workload. Adding additional help to his staff would allow the center to receive a perfect ISO rating. Currently the rating is 9.5 out of a possible 10.
"We have wonderful employees and they are very exceptional for what they get paid," Carnes said. "Personally, I'm not asking for a pay increase, but my employees need a pay increase. Without them, the place we have wouldn't be anything."
In other business:
N Council also received an update on National Choice Bakery's status with the purchase of the building in Pageland. Chesterfield County Economic Development Board Director Cherry McCoy told council that the project was moving forward and could be in the final closing stages by the end of Jan.
N Council members Anne Brumley and Robert Cole presented resolutions acknowledging the achievements of the state championship football teams of Cheraw and Chesterfield High Schools.