Burke County dispatchers prepare for move to new location while celebrating National Public Safety Telecommunications Week


BURKE COUNTY, GA. (WJBF) – Dispatchers say their job can be tough. In Burke County, they’re about to move into a brand new building, and they say that could make their jobs a little easier.

Every 2nd week in April marks National Public Safety and Telecommunications week.

Whitney Wasson is celebrating her 2nd year on the job.

“It can be very difficult at times, but the best part is you have a great support system and a great team around you,” says Wasson.

And in burke county, there’s a tighter bond on this dispatch team because they’re all women.

“It’s exciting, you know we always have something we can giggle about together, or we all mesh well together, it’s a sisterhood, that’s what we call it,” says Brittany Barrs, a Burke County Dispatcher.

And soon, their bond will be even tighter. Fire/ema dispatchers and sheriff dispatchers will be consolidating into this new space in just a few months.

“So it’s going to be a benefit to citizens as well as the responders,” Laycee Silas.

Laycee Silas is the burke county 911 dispatch director, and she says the move to the judicial building will be a game-changer for dispatchers.

Meaning I may be taking this call for this emergency, but my partner over there is dispatching it, so there wouldn’t be any transfer or let me get another agency on the line type thing; if it happens in burke county, we’ll be able to provide services,” Silas explained.

And that will reduce response times for agencies. Silas says that’s important because every second will count. Before January, Burke county fire and ema dispatchers were separate from sheriff dispatchers.

“If we had a dual agency call, for example, let’s say a crash with injuries type of call the 911 call would go in let’s say where fire and ema dispatchers are that’s the primary 911 currently, they would answer that line, and then they would have to transfer it to the sheriff’s office dispatcher and or they would have to hear it go out on the radio,” says Silas.

And the move will bring more jobs. Thanks to this new space, county leaders are looking to add around 5 more positions. Those talks have yet to be finalized.

Count on NewsChannel 6 to keep you updated as we learn more.

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