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Published: Thursday, 7/17/2008

Toledo to hire five 911 operators

BY LAREN WEBER
BLADE STAFF WRITER

Several hundred people are expected to apply to become 911 operators during the next two weeks as the city opens the application process to the public for the first time in more than five years, Toledo police Capt. Leo Eggert said yesterday.

Operators are responsible for answering emergency telephone calls, obtaining information from the caller, and transmitting that information to police, fire, or emergency medical dispatchers, among other duties.

The application process began Monday and will continue through July 25.

Those interested should apply at the Toledo Civil Service Commission in Government Center between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. during the week. The city expects to hire five operators.

The starting salary for a 911 operator is $29,889.

The city has hired its employees as operators in the last several years, but has not hired publicly since about 2001.

Captain Eggert predicts "a few hundred" people will submit applications, citing the grim economic situation.

"With the current economic climate, I expect there will be a large number of applicants," he said.

The captain said vacant positions among operators and dispatchers created a need for overtime, but that need will be reduced once the positions are filled. The city has 74 operators, police dispatchers, and fire dispatchers.

Once the application process ends, the civil service commission will compile a list of eligible candidates and Captain Eggert said that is then used to begin the interviewing and hiring process.

Stacey Mitchell, a floor supervisor of 911 operators and police and fire dispatchers, said applicants should expect to work afternoons, nights, weekends, and holidays. She said there is a potential for promotions.

People start out as 911 operators. After they gain experience, they could have the opportunity to become police or fire dispatchers.

Ms. Mitchell, who worked as both an operator and dispatcher before being promoted to supervisor, said the job truly is rewarding.

"You are able to help [people] through an emergency situation, through a crisis, and sometimes provide them with the support they need," she said. "You have the opportunity to help people and make a difference."

The city also is hiring a public records clerk at the Toledo Police Department. Applications are being accepted through July 25 at the Toledo Civil Service Commission.



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