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9-1-1 Communications Center teams work like well-oiled precision tools when a critical call comes in or the phones and radios are swamped on a full moon Friday night. But we often hear that teamwork comes to an abrupt halt when it comes to getting along or to be a team off the phones and radio. Here are 7 Deadly Habits and 7 Useful Tips for more teamwork off the phones and radios and 7+ recommended eBooks for your professional library, independent learning, or In Service Training.
In the movie Groundhog Day, the main character wakes up every morning in the exact same place, at the exact same time, always having to repeat the same day - Groundhog Day. No matter what he experiences, he still wakes up having to repeat the day. Although he tries strategies to escape, nothing works; he still wakes up the next day to the same mess. I hear from many 9-1-1 leaders that their work to bring about 'positive lasting change' feels like Groundhog Day. So how can leaders...
In a time when 9-1-1 agencies are clamoring for more training with less money 9-1-1 Magazine is proud to announce that high quality 30 and 60 minute training programs produced by the Law Enforcement And Public Safety Network (LEAPS.TV) will be available without cost and without registration on the 9-1-1 Magazine video portal.
9-1-1 Reality Training Station was created by Sue Pivetta and a team of educators and simulation experts around the "realities" of lab and classroom training and learning. Following her passion for simulation as an effective adult learning experience, Sue and her team combined the ability to practice multitasking, call taking, radio dispatching with a wide array of learning and instructional tools.
Why is it that Police, Fire and EMS in almost every community have college and High School criminal justice, fire science, or emergency medical training, but no such career training for 9-1-1 since every police, fire, or EMS agency has a corresponding number of emergency telecommunicators to hire?
I was asked by 9-1-1 Magazine Editor Randall Larson to express a few thoughts on the events of 9/11, and how we've changed, ten years later. I'd given the request quite a bit of thought; attempting to adequately describe where we stand today, a decade after the Twin Towers fell, appeared at first to be a fool's errand... like Shrek's life, 9/11 is really complicated, having dozens of 'layers,' depending on where you stood that day.
Public Perception and the 9-1-1 Dispatcher
When a disaster occurs, the government becomes quickly over-burdened with requests to handle simple emergencies - emergencies that every one of us should be able to handle on your own... Neighborhood Preparedness Solutions has launched a complete and thorough online source of information dedicated to the Immediate Responders' individual efforts. The goal is to encourage participation throughout community neighborhoods as well as to gain the cooperation within local government.
The E9-1-1 Institute, in conjunction with National Emergency Number Association (NENA), the Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials (APCO), the National Association of State 9-1-1 Administrators (NASNA), the 9-1-1 Industry Alliance ("9IA"), National Academies of Emergency Dispatch (NAED), 9-1-1 For Kids, and the Congressional NextGen 9-1-1 Caucus, will present the City of Aurora Public Safety Communications Department of Aurora, Colorado with the Outstanding 9-1-1 Call Center...
University Medical Center Hospital of Southern Nevada (UMC)'s Public Safety is a diverse department with three divisions: Public Safety (security), Safety, and Patient Transportation. Public Safety and Transportation each have their own separate radio channels and dispatchers, located in different areas of the hospital. This article is about the Public Safety division.
Welcome to the home page of the California MCC Rally - web page provided and sponsored by 9-1-1magazine.com. The annual California Mobile Command Center Rally demonstrates the interactive capabilities of public safety mobile command and communications units throughout the state. Held each May, the Rally allows emergency managers and public safety professionals to see up-close the capabilities of the command and communications resources in the region while exchanging ideas for developing or...
Once Upon A Time I believed that as a trainer I could not teach someone multi-tasking. I believed that you were either born with this skill or you weren't. I believed this because I had trainees who couldn't talk and type at the same time, which was the least of what they would need to learn in the time we had to work with them.
The Center for Domestic Preparedness (CDP) recently passed a stringent year-long reaccreditation process that allows its emergency responder students to earn continuing education credits for most of the courses they take at the CDP.
Available as a self survey FLIP eBook (flash-driven page flipping eBook) and bonus Powerpoint Trainer, Compassion Fatigue is a very real stress related issue for our Comm Centers. The results of CF can be job burn-out, apathy leading to poor work performance, shut down of feelings leading to illness and increase stress levels. What causes CF, how can you see it and what can you do about it.
Cubic Corporation has reached an agreement to provide its advanced urban instrumentation system, including its Multiple Integrated Laser Engagement System (MILES), for a regional emergency and law enforcement training facility being built in the Chicago area. The contract marks first sale of sophisticated urban instrumentation to an academy for law enforcement and first responder training
April's annual state conference of the New Hampshire Emergency Dispatchers Association (NHEDA), voted unanimously to adopt a uniform standard of training for all state 9-1-1 call takers and dispatchers. The vote was taken after Denise Amber Lee Foundation President, Nathan Lee, spoke about the tragic story of his wifeís abduction and eventual murder due to mistakes made in his local 9-1-1 center the evening of January 17th, 2008.
The Denise Amber Lee Foundation and President, Nathan Lee, has been asked to speak at the opening of the New Hampshire Emergency Dispatchers Association (NHEDA) annual conference in North Conway, New Hampshire. The conference is being held on April 11th with the focus on training and adoption of a voluntary, statewide, uniform training and certification standard for all 9-1-1 call takers and dispatchers in the state.
According to Alameda County, California, Urban Shield is "a national model, full-scale exercise, designed to assess and validate the speed, effectiveness and efficiency of capabilities, as well as test the adequacy of regional policies, plans, procedures and protocols" (Urban Shield, 2013). Urban Shield events require hundreds of volunteers, to portray victims in a variety of disaster scenarios. When possible local residents are used and that is how I got involved with the Austin, Texas...
Without good evaluation systems your agency has no idea what is happening compared to what is supposed to happen with individuals, shifts and the entire agency. Good evaluation processes and forms provide responsible supervision and direction. Evaluations provide documentation of the agency's accountability to manage the center responsibly.
FirstNet Summit at CCA Expo to Examine Role of Carriers in Providing Critical Services to First Responders
Last year, Congress created FirstNet, the nationwide interoperable broadband network to help public safety officials including police, fire, and EMTs better coordinate their public safety efforts... The Competitive Carriers Assn is delighted to be hosting the FirstNet Summit where carriers will learn how they can get involved and provide critical services to the public safety community.
Members of the Denise Amber Lee Foundation were recently conducting two days of training to Chicago area 9-1-1 telecommunicators and were asked to meet with the Illinois committee currently working on a similar standard and legislation for their state. Members of the Illinois Public Safety Telecommunicator Training and Certification Initiative Committee and the Denise Amber Lee Foundation met for a couple of hours at the headquarters of Motorola Solutions in Schaumburg, Illinois. The...
Fire departments are getting more involved in and affected by civil unrest events. We can expect more of these as we move through an election year, and all agencies should be preparing for them. The Firefighters Support Foundation's (FSF) training program, Fire/EMS Response to Civil Unrest, is a free downloadable training resource for individuals, agencies, and trainers on this subject.
Dec 6, 1PM EST: This webinar focuses on the vital role call takers and emergency dispatchers have with regard to improving survival from cardiac arrest. Successful resuscitation requires a team effort in which dispatch has a fundamental and important role. The presentation will review the challenges of resuscitation, the role of dispatch, and provide examples of the good and the bad demonstrating just how integral dispatch is
The ultimate evolution of the 9-1-1 system is the elimination of jurisdiction based PSAPs. In their place would be a virtual nationwide network of PSAPs. It would no longer matter which 9-1-1 center receives a call, or by what method. Every PSAP regardless of its physical location would have the ability to dispatch local resources anywhere in the country. Such a system will require significant advances in present technology. Under the umbrella of the NG9-1-1 initiative, there are...
Sometimes it helps to think of dispatching as though you're playing a board game. In a game you need to know how each piece moves in order to be any good at it.
Often it seems as though how we say something conveys more information than what we actually say; and, of course, vice versa. Nowhere is this truer than in the profession of emergency telecommunications. In addition to everything else that dispatchers must do in their daily routine, today they must be diplomats, and true diplomacy requires a new paradigm regarding language skills.
Fire Scene Communications is the newest free training program available from the Firefighters Support Foundation (FSF).
Last week, Cal EMA and FEMA Region IX hosted the Golden Guardian 2013 Joint Action Planning Training Workshop at Cal EMA Headquarters in Sacramento. This workshop provided an action plan that will be used for the Golden Guardian 2013 Functional Exercise being held May 15, 2013.
There is a question I hear again and again and often see posted to the various 9-1-1-related newsgroups. Let's examine this question: how long should it take to train a public safety dispatcher?
How annoying can the evaluation process be? Think back to years of getting and giving evaluations. Are your memories fuzzy recollections of frustration, confusion, apathy, joy or resentment? Or do you recall them as an effective method of valued communications between you and an expert on how well you are keeping the promise of your work and adding to the overall agency goals of excellence?
In the beginning, there were no dispatchers or phones and 9-1-1 was just a fantasy in some poor cop's mind. How the heck did the public get help? How did Marshal Dillon know Miss Kitty was in trouble? Screaming loudly might help.
February, 2008 marked the 40th anniversary of the initiation of 9-1-1 service in the United States. In the four decades since that first call was made in Halleyville, Alabama much has changed.
They were big. They were boxy. They drank fuel at a fantastic rate. They were cool. They were often the subject of coffee breaks and station get-togethers by police departments all over the country. If you wanted to start an instant debate among cops, begin a discussion of which police cars were faster - the Dodge, the Chevy, or the Ford Crown Victoria. Now it's time to say goodbye to the Crown Vic, the car most often associated with the words police car.
You've all seen the pictures on television, in newspapers, or in other media, all showing the devastation of what was once called the World Trade Center. What you haven't heard about was the relationship between the New York rescuers and the teams sent from throughout the country to help perform Search and Rescue operations at Ground Zero... What are some of the lessons we learned there, that we could make use of in our own agencies?
9-1-1 has come a long way baby. 20 years ago there was no such thing as a Training Manager, simulators, certification, or dispatch academy. What is missing? What is needed? A Police Chief told me about his 'core group' (solid for 10-20 years) and - the revolving door group (hired in the last 3 years). What's up?... If the 10-20 employees thrived, we can assume - back then - that we hired the right people, had great training, negativity was rare, shiftwork was easier, we didn't fear...
On the heels of the curriculum framework created by the Florida Department of Health, Orlando based KPS has published a textbook designed to meet Florida standards and objectives. Written specifically to meet the objectives of the State, this textbook contains almost 400 pages of text, color and black & white photographs, tables and charts.
Creative agencies share some alternative strategies for immigration law enforcement in this LEAPS.TV program. A no cost, 57-minute web program, Immigration Law Enforcement: Beyond 287(g) and Secure Communities is now available on LEAPS.TV.
New from the Law Enforcement And Public Safety Network, the Suspicious Activity Reporting system is a tool in the fight against terrorism for all local, county, tribal, state, Federal and military law enforcement officers. A tuition-free, 19 minute, DOJ/BJA-sponsored program is available online now. At the end of the no cost program a test and certificate for 1/3 CEU are available...
Nashville Emergency Communications Center enhances the call taking process with citizen medical, personal and operational data while reducing call times. Learn how the Nashville ECC does it with their Smart911 program. A tuition-free, 45 minute program is available online now.
Public safety agencies are very efficient with routinely conducting exercises that test various response components. However, compressed response timelines or the ability to talk face-to-face make it difficult or impossible to fully utilize the types of radio communication that would be experienced in a real world response. In Georgia we recognized the need to think outside the box and identified the need to evaluate the communications component the same way we evaluate the exercises...
Before you begin reading this story, ask yourself these simple questions and see if you can answer them quickly, with minimum hesitation. From where you are right now, which way is North, South, East, West?... In my opinion, all schoolchildren should be taught geographical directions at an early age, much like language skills are taught at early ages. Geographical awareness can be a lifesaver!
In March 2012, the CDP, located in Anniston, Ala., conducted its first Integrated Capstone Event (ICE). The ICE is a unique training approach that allows the CDP to combine multiple courses in a single end-of-course exercise. ICE events may include students from ten different disciplines - ranging from law enforcement to healthcare - to interact, communicate, and respond to a full-impact mass casualty incident.
National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week is recognized April 14-20 this year. Celebrate the special people who perform critical work every day at the nation's public safety emergency communications centers.
"Taking the Challenge" was the theme behind this year's Navigator conference, held last month at the Marriott Waterfront Hotel in Baltimore, MD. From a record number of pre-conference attendees (282), educational tracks (15), individual sessions (91), and formal conference attendees (1,247) from all over the globe (13 countries), the fourth decade of emergency dispatch appears ready to scale future challenges brought on by technology and inevitable chieftains of change. Challenge will stay...
With more than 750,000 calls placed to 9-1-1 emergency services across the United States and Canada every day, many local call centers are stretched to the limit by advances in technology, heavy call volume, human resource and training issues, and inconsistent or inadequate funding. To address these and related issues, nearly 2,000 9-1-1 professionals and government leaders are gathering this week at NENA 2012, the National Emergency Number Association's (NENA) Annual Conference & Expo.
Considerable attention has been paid in recent years to bullying in the workplace. These behaviors may start out as minor incivilities, but can escalate and spiral into chronic destructive behaviors that have profound effects on individuals and on organizational culture, leading to a toxic work environment that breeds hostility and underperformance. Join NENA for this one-hour webinar and thirty-minute Q&A session that will help you identify bullying behaviors; dissect their underlying...
Last month, several newly hired police dispatchers in Southern California graduated from a dispatch academy, a rigorous 3-week training course designed to prepare new dispatchers for the job ahead of them. The Golden West College Criminal Justice Training Center in Huntington Beach, CA, hosted the academy which was taught by several seasoned instructors.
The Firefighters Support Foundationís newest free training program, Public Information Officer: Roles and Responsibilities, is now available. The program consists of a 35-minute video program and an accompanying 45-slide PowerPoint presentation about this not well-understood but vital function.
PowerPhone's survey is the first to look at online learning as it pertains to emergency communications nationally. Based on responses from 1,200 dispatchers, call takers, supervisors, directors and managers, the results show an industry ready to embrace eLearning.
First Contact 911, LLC is pleased to announce that Richard Behr has become the 12th member of the FC911 Instructional Services Team. Behr has been in public safety for 40 years.... he is a nationally known instructor and has been involved with training for the past 35 years. He is a California POST Certified Instructor and CTO.
Maybe you look at Navigator as the place to learn a lot about emergency communication, the ability to pick up free advice from fellow professionals, and - at the conference held this past April in Las Vegas - the chance to walk away a millionaire. The National Academies of Emergency Dispatch (NAED) sponsored Navigator is all that and more. The six days traditionally divided between workshops and classroom sessions also leaves attendees with a lot to chew on for discussion when the next...
Pacific Interpreters Partners with First Contact 9-1-1 to Improve Language Access for 9-1-1 Call Centers
Pacific Interpreters, Inc., a leading provider of over-the-phone interpreting for Healthcare, Government, and Business Markets, has announced a strategic partnership with First Contact 9-1-1, a well-known supplier of high quality education and training programs to public service agencies, to improve language access for 9-1-1 Call Centers.
The California Emergency Management Agency, the California Fire Chiefs Association Communications Section, and the Carnegie Mellon University Silicon Valley Disaster Management Initiative held the 3rd Annual Mobile Communications/Command Center rally on May 22 and 23rd, 2011. This year's event combined the Rally with CMU's Disaster Management Initiative for a greater opportunity for associated workshops and exercises. The event was held at the CMU Silicon Valley campus located within the...
The 7th Annual Command, Control, and Communications Vehicle Rally took place in Chantilly, Virginia, on June 17th at the Fairfax County Police Driver Training Track. More than fifty mobile command centers of all sizes from federal, state and local police and fire agencies displayed at the Rally, some brought in from Maryland, Pennsylvania and Delaware...
PowerPhone, Inc., a leading provider of 9-1-1 call handling training and technology, has jumped in the ring with an exclusive partnership with the Verbal Judo Institute to deliver a groundbreaking new continuing education course - Dispatch Judo: Verbal Defense & Influence for Emergency Communications. For the first time ever, the concepts of Verbal Judo, an internationally recognized method of defusing potentially violent situations, will be brought to emergency communications.
PowerPhone, has published an Active Shooting Response (ASR) Bulletin for public safety agencies. The free bulletin may be used as agencies see fit in preparing and equipping their call takers and dispatchers with effective instructions to deal with an active shooting event.
PowerPhone, Inc., a leading provider of 9-1-1 emergency call handling systems, has announced the appointment of Gary S. Moore, Dr.P.H., as its Director of Training. Dr. Moore comes to PowerPhone from Judge Med, formerly the Training Education and Certification Centers for cardiovascular surgeons, where he served as the eLearning Director, delivering interactive, multimedia-rich online training programs to major pharmaceutical firms and medical manufacturers.
911Lifeline, in partnership with Dr. Lora Reed, announces the first of a series of workshops on leadership and organizational behavior in the PSAP.
Twenty-four local, state and federal agencies will gather on Wednesday, May 8th, from 9 am to 4 pm in Sacramento (CA) to display their mobile communications centers, share innovations they have developed, and participate in an interoperability exercise.
In the modern workplace employees have a desire to know why they are being required to do things and often resent the "old school" just-do-as-I-say approach to management. Policies and procedures need to be explained to and understood by everyone. Often times, if the reasons are clear and the consequences of their actions, and not for their actions are emphasized and understood the resulting compliance will be greater.
All the quality assurance data in the world is virtually meaningless if it is not followed up with a strong quality improvement initiative. Gathering the information and generating reports are just part of the process.
Raytheon Company has selected Downey, Calif., as the location for its new Public Safety Regional Technology Center. The company is planning to open the facility in the next three months.Occupying 27,000 square feet and employing up to 150 people, the new center will serve as the focus of Raytheonís civil communications business in the western United States and provide test and research facilities, training, and maintenance and logistics, customer and systems support.
This April 21-24, two thousand transportation and high-tech leaders from around the nation will gather in Nashville, Tenn. for one of the most important transportation events of the year, the Intelligent Transportation Society of Americaís (ITS America) 23rd Annual Meeting & Exposition being held at the Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center.
Statistics released by the Department of Homeland Security indicate that the average active shooter incident lasts 12.5 minutes, while the average law enforcement response time is 18 minutes. This means that very often, the 9-1-1 dispatcher will be the first law enforcement representative to establish contact with victims or those closely involved with these dramatic events.
The Center for Domestic Preparedness (CDP) in Anniston, Alabama is known for its realistic, emergency response exercises. Responders attending the Hands-On Training for CBRNE Incidents (HOT-I) course will now have an added level of realism thanks to a school bus CDP recently added to the simulated mass casualty exercise for each class.
At 08:07 we arrived on scene and had a briefing with the sergeant from the state police. We set the trailer up a few houses down from the actual scene. After acquiring aerial maps from our GIS data for the state police SERT team we erected our satellite dish and cell mast... we were just out of range of the satellite because of the mountainous terrain; however with our diverse communications methods available to us we were able to provide cellular communications and data.
"We need to ask questions and get a good understanding of what the (situation) is," said Hollman. "Each caller is different, some may be aware of something unusual and some may be very hysterical. But the basics are still the where's and what's. That's what a dispatcher needs to find out."
This new technology is only the latest in what has been an almost constant drumbeat since 9-1-1 was first developed almost thirty years ago. The next few years will see callers having the ability to send photos and video, as well as text messages, into the 9-1-1 Center. This presents our Centers with some opportunities, as well as a few challenges.
One of the more common complaints heard around the PSAP (Public Safety Answering Point) concerns the "dumbing of dispatchers. This gripe typically comes from members with a little bit of time under their belts, and the propensity to wax poetic about the good old days.
Did you know that there is a link between the NPSTW and one of the greatest disasters of the twentieth century? This year commemorates the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the RMS Titanic on April 15, 1912. How can answering a 9-1-1 line or monitoring a radio channel be related to an event over one hundred years ago?
Police and firefighters in Aurora, Colorado responded to an apartment building after a report was made of the smell of rotten eggs in the area. The building was evacuated, and responders entered an apartment whose bathroom had been taped shut with duct tape. Signs warned of hazardous materials inside. A young woman's body was soon removed from the residence. Welcome to the new and terrifying world of chemical suicide. As a 9-1-1 dispatcher, it's important for you to know that this threat...
There is not just ONE problem that is easy to solve in the 9-1-1 industry. There are many areas in need of repair, here are some thoughts: It is NO mystery that the pay is at times inadequate. Inadequate to attract good candidates, inadequate to keep good employees, inadequate to enable workers to feel valued or heard. They (whoever they are) claim pay isn't what matters, just like other human services jobs such as counseling, caring for the mentally ill. True maybe - the pay IN ITSELF...
Newly hired police officers go through a police academy for training. A citizen's academy is the same principle, but designed for members of the community. It gives the general public a behind-the-scenes look at how police agencies work. Citizen's academies vary in length depending on the hosting agency and that agency's goals; some can be as short as 4 weeks, while others can be as long as 16 weeks.
If you always strive to be consistent, you may be passing up opportunities to increase your trainees and your own success. Ironically, consistent achievement is not produced by consistent behaviors. In some situations, being consistent may be the worst advice you can follow. Consistency may have been more useful in the past when agencies had more simple work. With rapid changes and increased diversity, certain kinds of inconsistency have become virtues, not vices.
Using that old Ronald Reagan quote has a lot to say about address verification. Every once in a while, we see another bad outcome of a dispatcher or calltaker who sent responders to an incorrect address, an incorrect jurisdiction, or a location that did not exist. Why does this happen?
Are there great ideas to increase the pool of qualified or experienced candidates for 9-1-1 Jobs? YES! Have you thought about working with your local college?
Locked out of her car earlier this month, a woman called 9-1-1 and claimed that an infant was trapped in the vehicle. But when a sheriff's deputy responded to a "priority one lockout" at the womanís Florida home at around 9 AM on October 6, he "saw no child" inside vehicles parked in the driveway.