Contact: Matt Lindstrom, 612-673-2148

Minneapolis 911 hiring and training increases flexibility and improves service

March 19, 2014 (MINNEAPOLIS) Each year, Minneapolis 911 operators and dispatchers take nearly half a million emergency calls, and a recent wave of hiring and training is part of a continuous effort to improve 911 service to residents. Coupled with new demand-based staffing models that use call center best practices, these improvements are already getting results.

Staffing smarter to meet the day’s needs

Minneapolis 911 now uses demand-based staffing, which means that staffing is highest when call volumes are at their highest during the day, and lower when the call volume is at its lowest. Staffing levels throughout the day are determined by looking closely at historical call volumes based on time of day, day of the week, and season of the year. Staffing in the center ranges throughout the day to meet demand, but is never scheduled lower than nine employees on duty during the slowest times.

Cross-training increases flexibility

To make the most of the workforce that’s on duty at any given time, an extensive cross-training initiative is happening now, and will be complete by 2017. In the past, 911 operators and dispatchers have been two separate jobs, and once the ongoing cross-training that’s underway now is complete, all 911 staff will be able to do either job. That means when major crises happen, 911 staff will have much greater flexibility to do what needs to be done to meet the needs of callers. Minneapolis 911 has been working on this training plan for three years, working with the support of its public safety partners in the police, fire, and ambulance service.

Hiring and training brings down answer times

Nineteen new employees have been hired in the 911 center since November, 2012, which has led to significant training efforts that are starting to pay off. The average answer time so far in 2014 is 7 seconds, and the average so far in March is 5.8 seconds.

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Published Mar 19, 2014