The Pitkin County Dispatch Center takes emergency calls from Independence Pass to Marble. Between 2009 and 2017, the number of calls they’ve fielded nearly doubled.
Brett Loeb is the Emergency Communications Director for Pitkin County. He thinks the 98 percent increase in 9-1-1 calls is because more people have cell phones. Also, the valley’s population is growing, and so is its tourism industry.
The number of staff at the dispatch center hasn’t kept up with the increase in work.
"We operated the last couple years with an average of eight fulltime dispatchers. We’re authorized up to 14," Loeb said.
He said once a group of recent hires finish their training, the center will again be fully staffed.