Critically low numbers of dispatchers at Vermont State Police Public Safety Answering Points may force a reduced level of support for agencies that rely on the communications service. Vermont State Police Capt. Lance Burnham, Emergency Communications Commander, put agencies throughout the state on notice late last week that changes are likely if staffing within the PSAPs declines further. “Within the past week, seven State Police dispatchers tested positive for COVID 19,” Capt. Burnham wrote to “Agency Heads” on Friday. “We also have others that have called in sick and are awaiting test results. At the same time, we are carrying a very high vacancy rate.” He noted that the Williston PSAP has 13 vacancies and three dispatchers tested positive for COVID 19. In Westminster, there are eight vacancies and four dispatchers tested positive for COVID 19. Full staffing in the PSAPs would equate to 66 people; there are only 36 dispatchers currently.

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