New bill could be incentive for dispatchers

General assembly dispatch

OWENSBORO, KY (WFIE) - With the General Assembly gathering today, one bill on the agenda could add an extra incentive for dispatchers around the commonwealth.

“We’re the voice of hope," Paul Nave the 911 director for the Owensboro Daviess County Central Dispatch said, "when you call 911, we’re the first person you speak with.”

Some don't realize the role dispatchers play everyday with other first responders.

“It’s a total team effort from dispatch to the fire department, the police, the sheriff, and the EMS," Nave said. "We work together as a team. And without one component, it just doesn’t function.”

Nave explains that a new bill could reward his workers an extra $4,000 every year for completing and staying up to date in training.

“It’s an incentive to complete your training," he said. "An incentive to want to stay. And plus it’s another $4,000 on top of your base salary.”

The money coming from the Kentucky law enforcement foundation program fund has typically just been reserved for police and fire personnel. Nave says he’s struggled to retain and recruit the right people for the job, right now he has four part-time jobs open.

“When I lose a person, it could easily take a year to replace that person to where they’re able to function independently," he said.

Nave says he's hopeful the bill will pass, but this is the first time it's being presented.

“It’s a win-win for the community and it’s a win-win for the first responders," Nave said.

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