Members of the Reading Branch NAACP visited the Berk County 911 Operations Center to learn about the infrastructure that keeps the community safe. Stacey Taylor, President of the Reading NAACP lead the group, which started with a presentation by Brian Gottschall, Director of Emergency Services, followed by a tour of the dispatch floor by Senior Watch Officer Todd Boughter.
“I’ll never take 911 for granted” said Taylor. That was the reaction from the group as they walked through the dispatch floor. The disbelief is typical as very few Berks residents take an interest in how the 911 system functions.
For example, the dispatch center handles administrative calls for a few local police departments during their off hours, Todd Boughter mentions that residents have called in from time to time asking for a specific officer or detective.
Believing they are calling the police station callers are sometimes surprised to find out they are calling the operations center instead of their local station.
A few statistics from the night
- 100 Full Time & 40 Part Time Employees work for Berks Emergency Services.
- 22 Physical Operating Site including 10 Vehicle Response Teams.
- Services 410,000+ Residents (6th largest in PA).
- Call Center Receives 1750 calls per 24 hour period. Average of 75 per hour.
- 99.58% of all calls are answered within 10 seconds or less.
- Dispatchers work on 12 hour shifts rotating throughout the week.