PARIS — An intern working at the Oxford County emergency communications center will spend the next five months gathering data from 911 callers as part of a customer satisfaction survey. 

“We are always trying to perform our duties better and more efficiently,” county Regional Communications Center Director Jim Miclon said in a news release. 

“With the help of the public, this brief survey will help us evaluate what we are doing right and what we need to improve on,” he said.

Dispatchers handled more than 30,000 911 calls in 2013, Miclon said. The center took in more than 3,000 calls in the last month alone.

Melinda Thurlow, a University of Maine student and intern at the communications center, designed the project and will conduct the survey. 

Miclon said phone numbers for the survey are being taken at random from a database of previous 911 calls retained by the communications center.

The survey has seven questions, focused on the level of customer service delivered by dispatchers in the office, including whether the dispatcher was courteous, had a positive attitude, communicated clearly and listened to the caller. 

It takes about two minutes to complete the survey, Miclon said.

Callers are asked to give their answers on a scale of one to five; one being poor and five being great.

Thurlow has been working on the survey for a little more than a month, and will call people through August, Miclon said.

From the 91 calls she has made so far, only 34 people answered. Many people did not answer the call, while others had disconnected numbers or did not complete the survey. 

The results, so far, indicate respondents are largely pleased with the services they received from dispatch, with the vast majority marking a five in their response to the survey and a much smaller number marking a four.

Some people Thurlow called have been skeptical about the survey, worrying it may be part of a telephone scan, Miclon said. All the calls are being made from the dispatch office in South Paris and no sensitive personal information is being accessed, he said.

“The only information being used for this survey is date and time of the call and the caller’s name, so to engage Melinda in the details of your call will be fruitless, as she will only have the fact that you called the 911 center and nothing else,” Miclon said. 

If people have  any questions or concerns they may contact Miclon directly at 743-9554 or at [email protected]

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