The 911 Communications Center is a state-of-the-art Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP) and a Virginia Office of EMS Emergency Medical Dispatch accredited agency for the City of Staunton, answering both cellular and landline 911 calls as well as the business lines for the police department. Using a digital phone system, our dispatchers handle more than 60,000 phone calls per year, averaging 280 calls per day.
The communications center dispatches all calls to the Staunton Police Department, the Staunton Fire and Rescue Department and Staunton-Augusta Rescue Squad, dispatching more than 18,000 police calls, 4,000 fire calls and 5,000 medical calls. It is staffed by 12 full-time dispatchers, including one dispatch team leader (supervisor) and two dispatchers, who operate on 12-hour shifts.
Each dispatcher goes through an extensive training and a background investigation that includes:
- Interviews and testing
- One week of basic dispatch training at the Central Shenandoah Criminal Justice Training Academy
- 16 to 20 weeks of on the job training in the communications center before working independently
- Cross training to take calls for both the police and fire and rescue departments