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Isabella County Steps Up Recruitment Efforts at 911 Dispatch Centers



Dispatch centers across the state are seeing a shortage in dispatchers. The director for Isabella County Central Dispatch, McCarther Griffis, says while they’re not in as bad of shape as other centers, they are still experiencing a shortage.

“Some of our fellow centers have dispatchers working 10, 12, 14 days in a row. We had that for a short stretch, and we don’t want to experience that, so we are hiring,” Griffis admits.

He says call centers across the state began seeing the shortage right after the pandemic hit. Now nearly three years later he says things still haven’t gone back to the way they were.

“In Isabella County at this time we’re seeing the shortages coming and some of my fellow centers are down six, 12, or double-digit [dispatchers]. We’re currently down to three staff that we would like to hire,” Griffis states.

Griffis blames the shortage on people retiring and changing career paths.

One dispatcher, Tisha Dodd, has been working as a dispatcher for 24 years. She says she enjoys being able to help people and it’s something she’s always wanted to do. However, the shortage has resulted in more overtime at times and has made the job a little more challenging.

“The mental health crisis takes a toll on dispatchers as well. When you’re working long hours and you’re short-staffed it puts a strain on the dispatcher’s mental health,” Dodd explains.

To take some pressure of their dispatchers, Isabella County is speeding up the hiring process by eliminating the application so folks interested can jump right into testing and the interview phase.

“We’re offering this community-oriented test, it’s a three-hour test. We’ll give you a five-minute interview afterwards, give you some feedback about if you want to pursue the career [and what you need to look at],” Griffis explains.

They ask no matter where you are in the state, if you’re interested in becoming a dispatcher to reach out to the Isabella County Central Dispatch. They will get you in touch with a hiring dispatch center in your area.

“It’s a great opportunity for people to come in with no pressure, find out if their skillset matches what a dispatcher’s skillset is and hopefully start looking into a new career,” Griffis says.