Fremont County Sheriff Skip Hornecker, left, and Communications Administrator Carl Freeman. Joshua Scheer photo.
(Lander, Wyo.) – Fremont County Sheriff Skip Hornecker told the Fremont County Commission this morning that he will likely be presenting a budget request in the future to help fund a third 24/7 dispatch position.
As part of the push to make dispatch services a true enterprise fund, where that agencies receive services pay for them, Hornecker and Communications Administrator Carl Freeman said call volume really is beginning to necessitate having three dispatchers working all day everyday. Currently two are staffed constantly, with supervisors manning a third console during major events.
Currently, Hornecker said he’s actually understaffed by two dispatcher positions, but has promising applicants in the wings.
On a three year average (2011-2013), the sheriff’s office makes up 43.2 percent of call dispatch volume. Fire departments and EMS make up 30.56 percent, while Lander Police make up 26.24 percent. (Riverton has its own dispatch services.)
Essentially, the sheriff would like to have one dispatcher dedicated to each of the three categories listed above at all times. Doing so would ultimately result in the hiring of several more individual above what is currently budgeted. Specific costs were not discussed on Tuesday. The infrastructure is in place for the third dispatcher.
Hornecker and Freeman provided the commission with graphs depicting how many calls for various agencies and services occurred over five- and 10-year periods. Calls in general are increasing, and cell phones are consistently becoming used more often than land lines.
Commissioner Larry Allen, who is a member of the Lysite Volunteer Fire Department, attested to the occassional complications with having only two dispatchers available.