MANATEE COUNTY (WFLA) – Thursday marked a big milestone for Manatee County’s 311 call center. It launched exactly one-year-ago to the day at 3:11 p.m.
Since its launch, a lot has changed. The call center underwent a transformation throughout the pandemic. It started as a helpline for county-related issues but quickly transitioned to a call line for all things related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We came about for county services. That is how we started, but then COVID hit at the same time, so then we began taking COVID calls,” said supervisor Marcia Bacon. “People had questions… what are the symptoms, what are the signs and it went from there to testing sites, from the testing sites to the vaccine sites and that is where we are now, giving out the vaccine,” she continued.
Since launching on March 11, 2020, the 311 call center has handled more than 200,000 calls. Right now, it is averaging between 4,000 and 6,000 a day.
“It feels really great to know how many people that we have been helping since this whole thing started. I am happy for all the extra staff that we’ve got. There were only four of us that worked for 311 and because of the inflow of calls, we had to hire all these extra people,” said Bacon.
Now, there are more than 40 employees; most are part-time.
The call center’s busiest hour is 10:00 a.m. and the busiest day of the week is Tuesday. Manatee County officials say 33% of the calls were resolved on the first call.
The 311 call center is open weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.