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Former York County 911 police dispatcher Keith Lotier talks about being fired after refusing mandated hours on weekend off. John A. Pavoncello, York Dispatch

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I have been following closely the ongoing issues with our York County 911 Center, and have grave concerns for the safety and welfare of our first-responders and residents.

As an elected municipal official, my greatest responsibility to the people I serve is to ensure their safety. Having spent 13 plus years in the emergency medical and fire services, I understand fully the importance that 911 plays in saving lives. 

York County’s 911 Center cannot afford to be understaffed any longer and continue to hemorrhage the loss of experienced personnel. 

The current state of the Emergency Operations Center puts our first-responders and the people they are here to serve at dire risk.

Delayed and inaccurate transmission of information by our extremely dedicated 911 Center staff as a result of extreme fatigue, sleep deprivation and emotional stress puts us all at risk.

Please join me in calling upon our York County Commissioners to immediately open an investigation to determine and document why our 911 Center has such a high turnover rate. 

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We citizens of York County deserve to hear what concrete actions the commissioners are taking to alleviate the morale issues and mandated overtime, and address complaints about 911 call center leadership. 

We deserve to know if our commissioners are reviewing best practices of highly regarded 911 Centers elsewhere in Pennsylvania, including effective leadership and salary and benefit structures, and adopting those practices into York County’s 911 Center.

York County Commissioners can no longer afford to be AWOL on this issue, otherwise York County’s 911 Center and the people it serves may very well be DOA.

— Ron Smith is president of Dallastown Borough Council

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