Emergency Call Takers Getting More Training - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Emergency Call Takers Getting More Training

Posted: Updated:

YAKIMA, Wash.-- NBC Right Now has some new information about new 911 call center training. The training emphasis should mean faster response times and will also bring Yakima dispatchers more in line with national standards.

Currently, the national standard says it should take a dispatcher about a minute and a half to send a first responder to an emergency, 90% of the time.

Right now, Yakima dispatchers do that about 63% of the time, on par with the national average, but slower than the target standard. And that's what's prompted call center officials to start this new training emphasis.

They hope to reduce the processing time of emergency calls by 25% in the next six months and meet that national standard in a year and a half.

Improvements that will make you safer.

"Our whole goal is quicker response. The sooner we can get emergency units responding to any type of call, the better it is. And so our goal is to improve that response time," said 911 Director, Wayne Wantland.

Wantland says dispatch times are influenced by several factors. He says the increased use of cell phones have made it more difficult for call takers to get a confirmed address before dispatching responders. Also, language barriers can greatly slow down processing times.

The training to help dispatchers enter information faster has already started and will continue this month.