LADSON, S.C. (WCBD)- Over 100 people are going through the process to become 911 telecommunicators in Charleston County after a month-long hiring event took place because of a staffing shortage.

“We’ve had a lot of questions from the 911 floor about how open interviews have been going so I’m excited to get these numbers to them as well. Hopefully we can keep all these people and have them be able to fill staff on the floor and help our community and staff as well,” said Kaitlin Jordan, the Public Education Specialist at the Charleston County Consolidated 911 Call Center.

The 47 vacancies in the center that have contributed to short staffing are still open because none of the new hires have completed training, but that will change in the next couple months.

One of the new hires is Jess Gongaware, who is new to Charleston.

“It’s more about the passion and the purpose for me working in support of our first responders on the road and being able to help serve and give back to our community,” said Gongaware.

Once applicants like Gongaware receive their offers they undergo training to learn about geography and CPR certification.

Despite new employees still being in the pipeline, Jordan is optimistic that there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

“We definitely have enough people and enough applicants to fill those positions. We just have to get them into the training class,” said Jordan. “We’re moving through the application process way faster than we normally are which is great because we had groups of people coming in to do multiple things at once.”

Charleston County saw a total of 142 applications received last month which is over a 260% increase from last year. 105 of those applications are moving along.

A calling to help law enforcement, emergency medical works and firefighters is what compelled Gongaware to apply.

“Training can be a lot. It’s overwhelming at first. I’m not from here either so as far as geography goes it’s been a little bit tough. I’m excited to be here and happy to see where it goes from here,” said Gongaware.

Telecommunicator Qualifications and Job Details

No prior experience needed. High school diploma or equivalent required.

Training occurs within the department. The training program was recently re-accredited by Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials. (APCO)

Open 8 hour shifts: 5:45am – 2:00pm, 1:45pm – 10:00pm and 9:45pm – 6:00am

Shifts for new employees are issued based on staffing needs.

Applications are still open and you can visit WorkFor911.com to apply.