San Francisco

San Francisco Supervisor Wants Shortage at 911 Dispatch Center Addressed

A San Francisco supervisor is calling for a hearing to address a staffing shortage at the city's 911 dispatch center.

The issue became apparent after a massive power outage in April that left 88,000 PG&E customers in the dark.

Supervisor Aaron Peskin said he wants a complete review of the dispatch center. Peskin also has pointed questions that go beyond when the system was overwhelmed during the power outage.

Many San Francisco dispatchers work overtime to fill the gap.

The issue was clear on April 21 when an equipment failure and fire at a PG&E substation knocked out power to tens of thousands of customers. The department prefers to have 14 call takers, but that day has 12.

Peskin has called for a hearing about the overall system, data on call responses and staffing models.

The expectation is 911 centers are not designed to answer a certain spiked level of calls. Though calls go through a queue, many people hung up while waiting that day.

Officials said there are 40 trainees who should begin to help boost numbers.

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