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Durham 911 center stops routing calls to Raleigh after months of staff shortages

Durham’s 911 center will no longer send unanswered calls to Raleigh, after recent staff shortages saw nearly one in 10 calls routed to the nearby town.

The Durham Emergency Communications Center has 26 out of 60 vacancies, according to Beverly Thompson, a city spokesperson.

That’s the same number of open positions that the city said existed last month, but Thompson said the transition from three interns to full-time call takers last week allowed the center to end its shutdown. addiction to Raleigh.

The city stopped routing calls through the Raleigh-Wake Emergency Communications Center on Tuesday, she said.

The announcement comes after The News & Observer and other media reported that staff shortages at the center were causing delays and errors in responding to emergency calls.

The Durham Fire Department created a form in January to track dispatch errors, according to Bill Towner, spokesperson for professional firefighters for Durham Local 668 and a former captain of the department.

Towner previously told the N&O that firefighters saw the number of errors increase as the city routed calls through Raleigh.

A total of 46 errors or concerns were reported through the form between January and May, according to documents obtained by The N&O.

Alternate call routing through Raleigh began in December. Since then, about 9% of all 911 calls made in Durham have been answered in Raleigh, the city said.

The calls would ring for 30 seconds before being automatically transferred to the Raleigh center.

The city has hired seven new full-time employees since December, Thompson said.

Four part-time employees have been hired since January, Thompson said. The department employs a total of nine part-time employees.

The N&O had previously announced that Raleigh would stop taking calls from Durham at the end of June.

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