Horry County 911 call center almost at full staff for the first time in years

HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - After years of being short-staffed, the Horry County 911 dispatch center is now almost full.

Members of the center talked about the changes at the Horry County Public Safety Committee meeting on Monday. This is the first time in years the center is almost at capacity.

The center currently has one open position.The 911 center's director, Renee Hardwick, said this time last year, they had 10 open positions. In August 2016, the department was also short by 10 people.

When the department was understaffed, many employees worked shifts over 12 hours to man the phones 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Hardick said changes were made to help the staffing issue. One of the biggest was starting consistent schedules for employees.

"Before they worked two weeks on days and two weeks on nights, and they kept rotating to that schedule. We did that for a long while, about three years, and before that it was back and forth days to nights," Hardwick said. "So yes, it's more regulated to allow them to kind of get into a routine with their schedules."

Hardwick added that with an almost full staff, employees are now able to take lunch breaks, something they couldn't do when they were understaffed.

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