The Madison County Board of Commissioners continued to meet with department heads about the county pay scale.
The group met last Wednesday with David Camp from E-911 and Jason Lewis from emergency medical services, along with several other departments.
Camp went over the different requirements and training for each of his three classes of dispatchers, explaining that the system was designed to give employees an incentive to stay with the county’s 9-1-1 system longer by offering a higher rate of pay. Dispatcher entry levels of pay are currently set from $10.53 per hour to $11.60 per hour.
Camp said dispatchers are often thought of as the “red-headed stepchildren” of public safety.
“They’re heard, but never seen,” he said, adding that they are often “above their heads in stress.” He explained how with the advent of cell phones, dispatchers often receive multiple calls about a single wreck or other incident. Camp said that while working with 9-1-1 in Athens-Clarke County, he was able to get dispatcher pay raised to the level of a police officer.
“I’m not asking for that here, but I would like to see them get a decent pay (scale) raise,” he said. The highest paid dispatcher makes a salary of $12.78 per hour, and Camp said she has been with the system since it began in 1999. All dispatchers work 12-hour shifts.
In response to questions from commissioners, Camp said cities are not charged for calls dispatched to city police departments, but said this does occur in larger cities.