RICHMOND, Texas (KTRK) -- The Fort Bend County Sheriff's Office will host a job fair on Tuesday in hopes of bringing relief to responders who are working longer hours and are short-staffed.
A 911 dispatcher may be the first person you reach in an emergency. But right now, those workers appear to be in dire need of help.
"Everyone needs to rest," Deputy Frank Davis said. "That's a stressful job. A rewarding job, but even they need to rest too."
FBCSO is looking to hire more than 30 911 dispatchers. The agency is partnering with Workforce Solutions in Rosenberg to host a job fair.
"We tell people all the time, 'You never know what kind of call you're going to get,'" Davis said.
The need is even more significant in Houston. Last month, Eyewitness News told viewers how the Houston Emergency Center is short about 70 people.
ABC13 discovered audio of one dispatcher allegedly falling asleep while taking an emergency call. On Friday, new numbers revealed it wasn't like that a year ago. In the summer of 2021, the dispatch center had 165 employees and only needed to hire 45. In January, it fell to 145 employees with 70 vacancies.
In July 2022, the number of workers fell even further to 144, with 74 open positions. Dispatchers aren't the only position law enforcement is struggling to fill.
Fort Bend County needs help with other departments too.
"We need more people out there so that we can all be better and work together better because it does get taxing when you're running on constant overtime, (and) you're short staffed," Deputy Kayla Elwood said.
The agency also needs about 100 correctional and patrol officers.
"We want the good guys with us," Elwood said. "Those dedicated, committed officers who have strong morals and ethics."
The job fair will be held at 28000 Southwest Freeway in Suite D in Rosenburg on Tuesday. It will be from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. The pay starts at about $18 an hour.
Those who attend will be eligible to work within the next two months.