911 center staff seek help, higher pay

By Jaime Thomas

Emergency communicators in Washington County are handling a higher volume of calls with less help.

Jack Rogers, a labor relations representative for the county’s 911 communication center, addressed the county board of supervisors at a monthly meeting Friday morning.

“Please consider this issue of the lack of employees in this stressful and valuable job. The liability and protection of the citizens of Washington County start here. Please don’t wait until something terrible happens,” said Rogers. He called the workers the heart and soul of the community.

He said the United Public Service Employees Union is worried about the safety of members, whom he described as underpaid, under-helped and overworked. The union feels it needs more full-time employees so staff can handle the high volume of calls.

Rogers gave the board statistics to support his claims. The center handled more than 2,700 more incidents or an almost 13 percent jump in the past year. And despite the doubled workload and expanding service coverage, Rogers said there hasn’t been a proper response in the communication center force.

“The addition of the Hudson Falls Police Department has increased the calls for service tremendously, with no new assistance at the consoles,” Rogers said.

“Our union is concerned for the safety and well-being of our members and the public,” he said. The board of supervisors listened to his presentation but made no action Friday.

On Monday John Rymph, chairman of the board, said Rogers’ news was nothing new.

“We pretty much dealt with some of it. It’s an ongoing thing,” he said. He said the board didn’t realize emergency call responders were taking many non-emergency calls.

“We’re taking steps now so they don’t have to do that,” he said. The union is now in negotiation for a new contract, and Rymph said the board will discuss how much new help is needed.

The remainder of the meeting was quick and rote; supervisors accepted previous meetings’ minutes and introduced and approved various resolutions.

Rymph recognized and welcomed a young Norwegian woman, who just arrived to study abroad in Hudson Falls for a year. She is staying with the family of Roger Wickes.

“I just thought I’d introduce her and thought it would be a nice thing for her. It’s a nice program,” he said.

When Rymph opened the floor for discussion, Argyle Supervisor Robert Henke raised a challenge.

“Once again we have to throw out a milking contest at the fair. I figured since Hartford has the dairy princess, I figured he’d milk,” Henke said, referring to Hartford Supervisor Dana Haff, who accepted the challenge.

The next board of supervisor’s regular meeting will take place Friday, Sept. 20 at 10 a.m.

Comments

comments

Read more in this week's Sentinel in newsstands now or click here to read right now with our e-edition.

Read more in this week's Times in newsstands now or click here to read right now with our e-edition.

Tags: , , , ,

Obituary: Leo A. Dewey Jr.

Dewey Leo obit

Leo A Dewey Jr “Duffer” of Hampton NY passed peacefully on April 15th surrounded by his family and friends.  He […]

Obituary: Grace M. Heath

Grace Heath obit Picture

Fort Ann – Grace M. Heath, 80, passed away peacefully at home, surrounded by family on Friday, April 12, 2019. […]

Meals on Wheels – Driver positions

meals

Full-time and part-time driver positions available. Go to ontheplatecareers.com to apply.

Lakes Classifieds – 04/19/19

Lakes Class 4-19-19.pdf-web.pdf

North Country Freepress – 04/19/19

FreePress_4_19_19.pdf-web.pdf

Classifieds 04/18/19

Classifides 4_17_19.pdf-web.pdf

518 Wheels – 04/18/19

518 Wheels 4_19_19.pdf-web.pdf

Obituary: Robert “Bob” Henry Poucher

Robert Poucher obit photo

Robert “Bob” Henry Poucher, 87, of Morehead City, passed away Thursday, April 11, 2019 at Carteret Health Care. His funeral […]

Obituary: Carol Anne (Manell) Senecal

Carol Senecal obit with photo

Whitehall-Carol Anne (Manell) Senecal, 85 of Whitehall New York passed away at her home in Whitehall on April 11, 2019. […]

Lakes Region Freepress – 04/12/19

Lakes_4-12-19.pdf-web.pdf

Lakes Classifieds – 04/12/19

Lakes Class 4-12-19.pdf-web.pdf

North Country Freepress – 04/12/19

FreePress_4_12_19.pdf-web.pdf