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Nowata working on fixing dispatch issues

Posted at 7:08 PM, Oct 25, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-25 20:27:47-04

Kayla Rodgers says she called 9-1-1, then called the city dispatch, then called the sheriff's office, all without anyone picking up. She's a healthcare professional in Nowata and was calling for a patient.

"If that patient had quit breathing and we're over there doing CPR, we can't leave," Rodgers said.

It's not the only issue the Nowata County Sheriff's Office has had with dispatch. In July, pictures surfaced of a dispatcher asleep at the desk, sparking questions about problems at the sheriff's office.

Rodgers says she's begun calling the fire department directly when she needs help, "because they always answer and they will send somebody out."

Nowata County Sheriff Kenny Freeman says his office has since hired three new dispatchers to work in 8-hour shifts.

"The office has addressed all the issues concerning dispatch as quickly and effectively as possible," Freeman said. "We're working to get all the new dispatchers through their testing, and the dispatchers are currently improving every day."

Freeman says there have been a few small issues since the new dispatchers have started, "but nothing that's not expected."