San Francisco Opens New 911 Dispatch Center

The new 911 Dispatch Center - completed on time and on budget - includes more workstations, a new training room, updated break room, and elevated supervisor workspace
April 24, 2024

San Francisco, CA – Today Mayor London N. Breed and the San Francisco Department of Emergency Management (DEM) celebrated the opening of San Francisco’s newly renovated 911 Dispatch Center. The significant upgrades to the facility, located at 1011 Turk Street, will enhance the City’s emergency response capabilities by allowing dispatch capacity to grow over time and surge in the event of a major emergency. The project, funded by a bond approved by San Francisco voters in 2020, was completed on time and on budget.

San Francisco’s Dispatch Center, one of the top 25 busiest in the U.S., receives an average of 3,200 calls every day. Public Safety Communications Dispatchers work with first responders including Police, Fire, EMS personnel, Street Crisis Response, and the Homeless Engagement Assistance Response Team (HEART) to respond to emergencies across the City.

The new Dispatch Center features a variety of improvements, including five additional dispatcher workstations – bringing the number to 55 - with room for further expansion to accommodate hiring growth, a new dispatcher training room to serve the growing number of trainees, an updated break room, and an elevated supervisor workspace reconfigured for enhanced oversight.

DEM, in partnership with the Mayor’s Office and Department of Human Resources, is working to streamline the application process for 911 Dispatchers and recruit more people to apply. The number of applicants has more than doubled since 2022, with the next academy class expected to be the largest in over two years.

“The opening of this new and improved Dispatch Center is a critical step forward in our work to protect the safety and well-being of all San Franciscans,” said Mayor London Breed. “This state-of-the-art facility underscores our dedication to public safety and commitment to supporting the life-saving work of our 911 Dispatchers. I am grateful to the voters who supported the 2020 ESER Bond that made this project possible and the Public Works staff who carried out the renovations. Thanks to them, our 911 Dispatch Center now has the infrastructure necessary to grow with the City over the coming years."

The Earthquake Safety and Emergency Response (ESER) Bond Program is an initiative to bolster earthquake safety and emergency response resiliency through capital improvements to critical infrastructure. San Francisco voters overwhelmingly approved the first $412 million ESER Bond in 2010 and the second $400 million ESER Bond in 2014, both receiving nearly 80 percent support, and the third $628.5 million ESER Bond in 2020 with 82% support. The Bond Program is administered by San Francisco Public Works, which designs and implements many of the infrastructure improvement projects funded by the Bond.

“Our dispatchers are on the front lines every day, providing a calm voice on the other end of the phone and an assurance that help is on the way for residents, workers, and visitors in need,” said Mary Ellen Carroll, DEM Executive Director. “This new space is designed to support their crucial work with enhanced technology and improved comfort, while increasing our capacity to serve our community in emergencies.”  

“Our 911 Dispatch Center is a critical nerve center that never sleeps, acting as the connective tissue between dispatchers, first responders, public safety personnel and the communities we serve,” said San Francisco Public Works Director Carla Short, whose team provided project and construction management services and construction support from the trades’ workers. “We appreciate the opportunity to deliver these improvements on behalf of our City partners that not only meet today’s needs but can accommodate future growth.”

“Dispatchers are the first point of contact when people call for help during an emergency. They remain calm and professional under some of the most stressful situations imaginable. They are crucial partners of the Police Department, and we greatly value them and their work. We could not keep the people of San Francisco safe without them,” said SFPD Chief Bill Scott. “I’m pleased to see our dispatchers have improved facilities to do their vital work. This new 911 Dispatch Center shows that our city is committed to embracing new resources and technology to improve public safety."

“The San Francisco Fire Department is pleased with the new San Francisco 911 Dispatch Center which will help us to better serve the needs of our residents and visitors,” said SFFD Chief Jeanine Nicholson. “We are appreciative of and excited for our professional dispatchers who not only take the first call for help but also direct us to those calls expeditiously, helping to ensure the safety of our communities.”

“When our community needs help, 911 dispatchers answer the call and are the unsung heroes of public safety. Having a supportive workspace with necessary renovations is vital for these first responders to continue their good work,” said Sheriff Paul Miyamoto. “We are grateful to voters who pushed for these improvements to prioritize keeping the community safe. The Sheriff’s Office remains committed to continuing to protect DEM staff members who work at 1011 Turk.”

The Department of Emergency Management is currently hiring 911 Dispatchers. Base salaries start at $106,418 and minimum qualifications include a high school diploma or equivalent, and two years of experience in a public contact position. 911 Dispatchers are offered excellent benefits and work with first responders to protect the lives of residents and visitors to San Francisco. More information and application details at                                                     ###