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Tucson in need of more 911 operators

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Posted at 3:57 PM, Mar 04, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-05 00:34:07-05

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — The Tucson Public Safety Communications Department is hiring to help fix a staffing shortage.

"We're really down," Geoff Kuhn, an administrator for the Tucson Public Safety Communications Department, said. "We really have an immediate need for between 20 and 40 people in the short term."

Kuhn said that operators aim to answer 95% of calls within 10 seconds of receiving it, but that during peak call times they don't hit that metric.

"We're just under than 90% threshold for that particular metric," Kuhn said. "We don't want community members waiting when they are calling with a true emergency."

The hope is that those who do not have an emergency, can use some of their other resources.

"We've been focusing our efforts is not to discourage people from calling 911, but to use that common sense to say is this truly an emergency," Kuhn said. "If not look for those alternative resources."

Some of the other resources including poison control and the COVID-19 hotline are available here.

General guidelines from the 9-1-1 association can be found here.

With less non-emergency calls and more operators at the center, Kuhn thinks they can get back to answering 95% of calls within 10 seconds of receiving them.

For those interested in applying, you can find out more about the job and apply here.