The Office of Emergency Management and Communications which runs the 9-1-1 communications center will implement a series of personnel changes which become effective January 1, 2012. The changes affect both the fire and police communications personnel. The fire department changes include the following:
- four senior alarm board operators will be demoted to the position of dispatcher
- two dispatchers will be reassigned to the position of call taker
- at least five call takers will lose their jobs
Currently, there is a senior alarm board operator assigned to the Englewood and the Main operations per shift. As of January 1st, one person will oversee both sides of the city.
From the Chicago News Report:
According to the Occupy Office of Emergency Management and Communications (OEMC) Facebook page, pink slips and letters of demotion were passed out to 911 operators on Friday, December 16, 2011.
From CBS Chicago:
Also, Office of Emergency Management and Communications supervisor Shanita Carter talked about the consequences of laying off already understaffed and overworked 911 call takers.
“That means that the city of Chicago is in dire trouble, because they will not be getting proper service,” Carter said. “In the higher-crime communities there’s already a delay of service – in which one of them I live – and so there’s going to be a further delay of service. As far as the supervisory thing goes, they’re trying to lay off not only the call-takers, but the supervisors. The supervisors are the people there to help train our call-takers; to keep them motivated; to keep them going. They’re overworked. They’re burned out.”
Carter says the supervisors cannot be stretched thinner than they already are.
Earlier this week, 28 aldermen signed a letter of concern over city budget cuts, saying some of them go too far. Cuts to the OEMC were of particular concern, as were cuts to the libraries, Emanuel’s which would result in the layoffs of scores of employees.