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Recommended Training Guidelines for 9-1-1 Telecommunicators in Development

Monday, February 1, 2016   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Chris Nussman
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A group of 9-1-1 organizations jointly announced today that it has been participating in an effort to develop recommended minimum training guidelines for the nation’s 9-1-1 call-takers and dispatchers. The topics to be included in the recommended guidelines were identified by members of the following organizations, as well as other key stakeholders representing the 9-1-1 community:

  • National Emergency Number Association (NENA)
  • Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials (APCO)
  • Connecticut Department of Emergency Services & Public Protection
  • Denise Amber Lee Foundation
  • Fairfax County (Virginia) Department of Public Safety
  • Greater Harris County (Texas) 911 Network
  • Hamilton County (Indiana) Public Safety Communications
  • International Academies of Emergency Dispatch (IAED)
  • National Association of State 911 Administrators (NASNA)
  • National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)
  • North Central Texas Council of Governments (NCTCOG)
  • PowerPhone
  • Priority Dispatch
  • RedSky Technologies
  • Rochester/Monroe County (New York) Emergency Communications Department
  • Vail (Colorado) Public Safety Communications Center
  • Weakley County (Tennessee) Emergency 911

The recommended topics are intended to give aspiring and current 9-1-1 telecommunicators (call-takers and dispatchers) nationally recognized, universally accepted minimum training that will be the foundation for ongoing professional development, according to Nathan Lee, president of the Denise Amber Lee Foundation.

"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 being developed collaboratively by these key organizations are a huge leap forward in achieving that goal,” Lee said.

The recommended minimum training guidelines will cover the following topics:

  • Telecommunicator roles and responsibilities
  • 9-1-1 call processing
  • Radio communications
  • Emergency management
  • Emergency communications technology
  • Legal concepts
  • Interpersonal communications
  • Stress management
  • Quality assurance
  • On-the-job training guidelines

It is important to note that the training topics listed above only will provide a minimum level of understanding. In order to field and manage emergency calls in a live environment, telecommunicators must receive supplemental training that will enable them to process discipline-specific emergency calls that are fielded by their respective Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP) or Emergency Services Provider.

The recommended training topics have been vetted by the leadership of each participating organization. The next step will be to allow the 9-1-1 community at large to review and comment on the recommended minimum training guidelines. It is anticipated that the recommended guidelines will be finalized for distribution to public safety and emergency response agencies by the end of 2016.

A parallel goal is to develop model legislation that can be used within any state that does not currently have legislation in this area. For those that do, the model legislation is intended as a baseline to ensure that the recommended topics listed above are being covered. The group recognizes and acknowledges that 9-1-1 is under the control of state and local authorities, and its intent is to assist those authorities having jurisdiction. These recommended guidelines are not a federal mandate.

To review the recommended minimum training guidelines, see the Minimum Training Working Document. Instructions on how to provide comments are available in the Training Guidelines Information Sheet.