CAMBRIA COUNTY, Pa (WTAJ)– Cambria County 911 dispatchers were recognized Thursday for their hard work and dedication in saving many lives in the county.
Deputy Director for 911 for the state’s Emergency Management Agency Jefferey Boyle and Cambria County Commissioners spoke in a press conference about their hard work and how much value they bring to the community. This visit comes during the National Public Safety Telecommunicators week, where its tributes to the dispatchers and first responders.
According to PEMA, 2,500 telecommunicators work across 61 different county call centers, which process 14.5 million requests each year. The Cambria County dispatch recorded more than 220,000 calls in 2021.
County dispatchers are still struggling to fulfill staffing needs, with some counties seeing 35% to 50% vacancies. However, the Cambria County dispatch team is fully staffed. EMA Director Art Martynuska said that this benefits them because of the prevention of worker burnout and spreading out workload.
“The commissioners saw the need,” Martynuska said. “There was a significant increase in base pay for staff last year, which helped us retain staff. But we also have a great spirit here, which helps us retain people.”
The county is also far along on its radio system upgrade, which allows them to provide 95% coverage for emergency responders and the county. The project costs $20 million and is expected to be completed by the fall.
“When people are going home or sleeping or spending holidays with their families, our 911 dispatchers and dispatchers across the commonwealth are on duty,” Martynuska said. “So we’re very proud to have these folks not during National Telecommunicators Week when we honor them, but we try to honor them all year round because their efforts are truly life-saving efforts.”