DAWSON COUNTY, TX (KWES) - Dawson County has been wanting to expand their dispatch center for almost a year. This week, officials finally got the green light to add on more service. Right now, the dispatch center is manned by only one person. That means calls from 911, the Police Department, Fire Department, Sheriff's Office, DPS and EMS all go to one dispatcher.
"It's really a very tough job especially when one person is trying to handle five emergency responders and then fielding all the 911 calls also," said Chief Larry Duyck for the Lamesa Fire Department.
"The operator has to determine or prioritize where the focus is going to be primarily so unfortunately you often have to put people on the back burner," said Chief Dale Alwan for the Lamesa Police Department.
That's exactly what officials want to prevent. Last winter, the one man dispatch center took in over 100 calls in just a few hours. Officials say that overwhelming ratio just can't benefit the county. So the police chief and fire chief teamed up to propose an expansion. This past week, the Commissioners Court gave the final seal of approval.
"I was really surprised, pleasantly surprised, and very pleased that we're able to do it this quickly. It's moving quicker than I thought it would," said Alwan.
Officials in Dawson County are teaming up to cover the budget. The estimated $15,000 bill will be split up between four departments.
"I know oftentimes when you call for either police, fire, or EMS, it's the most important thing in your life right at that time and you need that service," said Alwan.