|You may have heard the saying –
‘it’s the toughest job you’ll ever love.’|||
I can think of no other profession where this applies more than that of 9-1-1 telecommunicator. There are few jobs on the planet that are more rewarding, and at the same time as demanding and complex.
9-1-1 telecommunicators – both call takers and dispatchers – need to navigate many different systems and be adept communicators. They need to be versed in call taking processes, legal concepts and departmental procedures, and stay on top of ever-changing technology. They need to know what to do in all types of emergencies, down to the minutest details. They need to be able to instantly channel inner calm in utter chaos, and stay in control in the most unpredictable, stressful situations. Lives hinge on their very words and actions. The smallest slip up won’t just ruin someone’s day – it could result in dire consequences.
If you work in public safety communications, you already know this.
But, what you may be surprised to learn is that despite all of the demands placed on telecommunicators, many states still don’t have minimum training guidelines to prepare them for the job.
If you believe, as I do, that citizens should be able to expect the same high quality level of service, whether they dial 9-1-1 in Albuquerque, New Mexico or Manchester, New Hampshire, this fact is hard to reconcile.
Determined to make this a thing of that past, three years ago,
a working group of 9-1-1 authorities, training coordinators, standards organizations and industry training professionals came together to change this. Working together, they formulated
recommended minimum training guidelines to serve as a universally accepted foundation for telecommunicator training and ongoing professional development.
Nathan Lee, founding president of the Denise Amber Lee Foundation, and a member of the working group that developed the training guidelines, said: "It is vitally important that Americans receive a consistent level of 9-1-1 service, no matter where they live or where they travel, and the recommended minimum training guidelines are a huge leap forward in achieving that goal.”
If you’d like to learn more about the recommended minimum training guidelines and how to implement them in your own 9-1-1 center, I invite you to join us for an educational webinar that we’ll be hosting along with the Denise Amber Lee Foundation on Thursday, July 14th at 1PM ET (10AM PT). Presenters for this webinar – “Implementing the New Recommended Minimum Training Guidelines for 9-1-1 Telecommunicators” – will include Nathan Lee and Jamison Peevyhouse, co-chair of the training standards workgroup and Director of Weakley County (TN) 9-1-1 and Emergency Management.
register to attend the complimentary webinar here.