By Ernie Over, WyoToday

(Lander) –Fremont County Sheriff Ryan Lee told the County Commissioners Tuesday morning that his dispatch center is the busiest of all the other 29 dispatch centers in Wyoming based on a statewide 2021 study. “We have about 59,000 emergency 911 calls a year while Laramie County, home of Cheyenne and the most populated county, is second with 44,000. Casper is third with 29,000 emergency 911 calls,” he said. 

Lee said the all the 911 calls in the county come into the Sheriff’s Office except land line calls from Riverton, which go to the Riverton Police Department’s Communications Center. “This total is for 911 emergency calls only. The total of our calls does not include non-emergency calls such as VIN (Vehicle Identification Number) requests, animal calls, neighbor disputes, etc.,” he said. “About 80 percent of all of our emergency calls come in via cell phone.”

Chairman Travis Becker asked Lee why is Fremont County so busy?

“Fremont County is a very busy place with our deputies running non-stop, our ambulances are running non-stop, and fire departments are responding to more than fires but vehicle crashes and such,” Lee said. “There is a lot going around here.” The sheriff noted that Fremont County is the 13th largest county in the United States in total land area, noting the rural nature of many of the calls. Lee also said that his dispatch center has 12 dispatchers, five of whom are part-time, while Laramie County’s dispatch center has 28 staff members and Casper has 21. “We have a very, very busy place.”

Commissioner Mike Jones exclaimed that, “I can not believe “that you handle the number of calls you have with only 12 dispatchers!”

“Again, we have a very busy place,” Lee said. 

Additionally, Lee said the current starting wage for the county’s dispatchers ranks 15th out of the state’s 30 dispatch centers.