Recommended Minimum Training Guidelines for Telecommunicators
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The Recommended Minimum Training Guidelines for Telecommunicators Project is the result of a 9-1-1 community-wide effort that ensued over a three-year period. The goal was to identify nationally recognized, universally accepted, minimum topics that can be used to train aspiring and current 9-1-1 telecommunicators—call-takers and dispatchers—and which provide the foundation for their ongoing professional development.

Click here to download the guidelines, model legislation, FAQ, and usage instructions.

The effort was driven by the belief that it is vital Americans receive a consistent level of 9-1-1 service no matter where they live or where they travel. Consequently, there must be agreed-upon common elements that ensure the person who answers a 9-1-1 call has met baseline core competencies, and that the public will receive consistency of expertise and professionalism when communicating with a public safety answering point (PSAP), aka a 911 communications center, or other Emergency Services Provider.

A parallel goal of the Project was to develop Model Legislation for any state that does not currently have legislation concerning minimum training for telecommunicators. For those that do, the Model Legislation is intended as a baseline to ensure that the recommended minimum training topics are being covered.

Representatives of the following organizations, aka the Working Group, participated in the Project:

· 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 9-1-1 Emergency Network

· Hamilton County (Indiana) Public Safety Communications

· International Academies of Emergency Dispatch (IAED)

· National Association of State 9-1-1 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

· Stafford County (Virginia) Sheriff’s Office

· Vail (Colorado) Public Safety Communications Center

· Weakley County (Tenn.) Emergency 9-1-1

While the National 9-1-1 Program has facilitated the Project by providing a forum for discussion and development, the Guidelines are not federally owned or mandated—rather, they are the joint product of members of the Working Group listed above.

The Guidelines identify the recommended minimum topics to be included in any telecommunicator training program. These topics were identified by the Working Group, with input from other key stakeholders representing the 9-1-1 community. The topics are as follows:

· 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

In addition, numerous subtopics were identified for each topic listed above. It should be noted that the topics identified in the Guidelines provide minimum-level understanding. In order to field and manage emergency calls in a live environment, telecommunicators must receive supplemental training that will enable them to process the discipline-specific emergency calls that are fielded by their respective PSAP/9-1-1 Center or Emergency Services Provider.

The Guidelines vetted by the 9-1-1 community at large via the National Emergency Number Association’s NENA Workspace platform. All comments received were adjudicated by a subcommittee formed specifically for this purpose; the subcommittee was comprised of Working Group members who had volunteered for the task.

Click here to download the guidelines, model legislation, FAQ, and usage instructions.