911 hold times increasing in Marion County
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind.– It’s a problem that’s been plaguing Marion County: a dearth of 911 dispatchers, who are handling a high volume of calls.
The county has struggled with low staffing levels since 2011, according to the Marion County Sheriff’s Office. As a result, the average wait time for 911 calls in the county steadily climbed last year.
Data provided by the sheriff’s office found that the highest average hold time was 31 seconds in November, when the center received 75,262 calls. In an emergency, every second matters.
The lowest average hold time in Marion County was 12 seconds last February, when the center received a little over 67,000 calls, according to the data.
What’s the acceptable length of time for a 911 call? The sheriff’s office noted the standard set by the National Emergency Number Association. The group, which focuses on 911 policy, calls for 90 percent of all 911 calls to be answered within 10 seconds and 95 percent of 911 calls to be answered within 20 seconds.