JACKSON, Mich. (WLNS) — Emergency calls into Jackson County’s Central Dispatch are on the rise.

Local leaders say they’ve seen a steady increase at around 8% during the last few years. with total calls now reaching more than 200,000 per year.

“I would say probably around 600-700 on average per day,” said Emergency Dispatch 911 Director Jason Hamman.

Calls that are coming into a team of only four people per shift.

It’s caused the center to have to transfer around 12,000 calls a year to an outside provider.

Transferring calls leaves the door open for dropped calls, confusion, and delays in response times.

First responders on the other line like Napoleon Police Chief Duaine Pittman say it’s clear that more help is needed.

“Those dispatchers work hard there’s just not enough of them and in a medical emergency time matters,” said Pittman.

In November, voters are being asked to decide on a 911 surcharge, meaning residents would an extra $3 or so per phone each month.

Right now they only pay $1.50.

The extra money would allow for things like extra staffing and an emergency medical dispatcher that would help calls in-house.

“We know resources nationwide are hurting all over, so if we can better prepare them for that I think it would be a great asset,” continued Hamman.

Dispatch leaders say the money would also build a seamless interface between the counties’ dispatch and ambulances.

Additionally, with the surcharge, all surrounding counties would also be able to transfer medical calls to Jackson County.