911 operator training

911 operator training

There are 17 comments on the WTSP Tampa Bay story from May 1, 2008, titled 911 operator training. In it, WTSP Tampa Bay reports that:

Florida's House and Senate approved legislation that would offer training to 911 operators.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at WTSP Tampa Bay.

Since: Jan 08

St. Petersburg

#1 May 1, 2008
I strongly agree, 911 operator training should be mandatory for all new 911 operators rather than voluntary as the proposed law states. After all, being a 911 operator is like sitting in the hot seat: Once you get that call and the caller on the line needs help, you have to make a split second decision as to dispatching fire/rescue and police to the scene. As a 911 operator, calls are evaulated by the number of seconds, not the number of minutes.

Being a 911 operator is not like a call center operator where you can pick and choose - you have to ignore any negativity you may have about the caller and get right down to business.

After all, when someone calls 911 because of a fire, a heart attack or someone breaking into your home the 911 operator is the first point of contact towards getting emergency help. The 911 operator who answers is your lifeline to emergency services.

When you dial 911 to get the emergency help you need, you have the right to be greeted by the 911 operator who will say "911, what is your emergency?" in a professional yet courteous manner.

In an emergency, seconds count and calling 911 can make the difference between life and death. I feel the State of Florida is going in the right direction in providing training to 911 operators as a matter of law.

Remember, in an emergency, help begins with a call to 911.
Sonny Wrangler

Tampa, FL

#2 May 1, 2008
I guess we can call this The Denise Amber Lee Bill...

But having a Certified 911 Operator might be only half of the Needs for Florida Residents...

The other half is in having a Sheriff's Department that is State Certified also...Smile!!!

I would say this proposal is the result of the recent tragedy in Charlotte County and the pending lawsuit by Hathan Lee in behalf of his loving bride.
miok

Drummondville, Canada

#3 Jul 19, 2008
This is quite interesting..
I am a 911 operator in Canada (won't name the city ,sorry!).. we go through a 3 week intensive training which deals with 5 different areas of expertise (the computer system (telephone transfer, how to write the information you are given, how to siffer through non important info vs important info, police call codifications,etc), geography, rules and regulations regarding territories (provincial vs municipal police), rules and regualtions regarding other emergency services (fire, ambulance, public works,etc and call taking. For each part an exam is required and if you get under 70% you're fired. then we go through an intensive training period onlines with a supervisor sitting next to us. Then after you are monitered regularly for a year to make sure you're doing the job right.
No one who can't do the job gets through all that.. trust me. I know a University here also is now giving a class on taking emergency calls.
I think the poerson at the end of the line (the operator) has to be qualified to take EVERY type of call!
cheers!
LOVETALLY

Tallahassee, FL

#4 Jul 25, 2008
How much does a 911 operator make here in tally??
Val

Anniston, AL

#5 Aug 25, 2008
I'm a 911 operator in the US, and while it seems that not all 911 PSAPs have intensive training, I can tell you that my PSAP does require that their new hires to complete a 14-week training period, after which their probationary period lasts until their 1-year anniversary. The 14 weeks begins with SOP review and a test. Then radio training and testing. Then 911 call simulations and testing. Then we're put into the call-taking center to monitor "real" operators and make secondary notifications. Then we get to take turns answering calls while our certified training officer monitors us. Then we're placed with a supervisor to be monitored while taking calls. Then we're placed with strong non-supervisory employees to live out the rest of our first year. I am in the final stage of the 14 weeks. I'm about to be placed on a decided shift with a pair of strong non-supervisory employees and it's going to be up to me to take it from there. So just FYI, some of us are well-trained *wink*
Libby

Jacksonville, NC

#6 Sep 22, 2008
You stated, "When you dial 911 to get the emergency help you need, you have the right to be greeted by the 911 operator who will say "911, what is your emergency?" in a professional yet courteous manner." Actually, a well-trained operator would say, "9-1-1, WHERE is your emergency?" Location is the key to getting people the help they need. With a location, even without the nature of the emergency, a 9-1-1 telecommunicator can send all emergency responders. This is exactly one of the reasons you are correct in saying that 911 telecommunicators require training.
Nichole

AOL

#7 Nov 7, 2008
Yea...Its always WHERE is your emergency...without that you are screwed...especially if you call on a cell phone..then WHAT is your emergency...people dont understand how hard it really is to be a 911 dispatcher and all that goes into multiple cities calls.
Anthony

Orangeburg, SC

#8 Jan 11, 2009
I would love to do this. I have friends at our local sheriff dept where our 911center is. But I'm comming from a opertors position from a doctors office. I have always wanted to be a patrol officer or an 911 operator. I do have my 1st appointment witch is a prelim interview.

What should I be looking for.
bob

Columbia, MO

#9 Aug 24, 2009
hi
why

Coinjock, NC

#10 Aug 27, 2009
I don't know about your dispatchers, but ours aren't the brightest!
michael

Canon City, CO

#11 Sep 8, 2009
miok wrote:
This is quite interesting..
I am a 911 operator in Canada (won't name the city ,sorry!).. we go through a 3 week intensive training which deals with 5 different areas of expertise (the computer system (telephone transfer, how to write the information you are given, how to siffer through non important info vs important info, police call codifications,etc), geography, rules and regulations regarding territories (provincial vs municipal police), rules and regualtions regarding other emergency services (fire, ambulance, public works,etc and call taking. For each part an exam is required and if you get under 70% you're fired. then we go through an intensive training period onlines with a supervisor sitting next to us. Then after you are monitered regularly for a year to make sure you're doing the job right.
No one who can't do the job gets through all that.. trust me. I know a University here also is now giving a class on taking emergency calls.
I think the poerson at the end of the line (the operator) has to be qualified to take EVERY type of call!
cheers!
dude...it says where u live right under your name.
faaail.
gin lee

Edmonton, Canada

#12 Sep 23, 2009
dude, Missoula is in Montana.. not canada.
Skeptic

Austin, TX

#13 Oct 25, 2009
Our nation's 911 operators should be trained to ask the proper questions when calls are coming in from cell phones as most people have switched from their land line phones to cell phones only.

Instead of "911, What is your emergency?" the operator should say "911, What is the address of the emergency?"

That will give the caller the opportunity to tell the operator where s/he is at first. Obviously, other than prank calls, knowing "what is your emergency" is less important if the caller is going to be cut off in 30 seconds.

Scenario 1.
Q: 911, what is your emergency?
A: I am being attacked. Please help me.

Scenario 2.
Q: 911, what is the address of the emergency?
A: I am at St. Patrick's Church.

It makes a world of difference if the call is cut off at that point.
recruite in Toronto

Ajax, Canada

#14 Mar 4, 2010
Just saw your post and wondered if your still an Operator. I am just applying for the same role in Toronto and wondered if there is anyway that I can prepare for the test. Please email me at [email protected]
Jim

Norton, MA

#15 Jul 8, 2010
I'm a dispatcher in Massachusetts. I trained in house for 6 months. During that time also went to a 5 week dispatcher academy that is run by the state. Every state should have a statewide training academy.
Teknikid

Montréal, Canada

#16 Mar 14, 2011
Skeptic wrote:
Our nation's 911 operators should be trained to ask the proper questions when calls are coming in from cell phones as most people have switched from their land line phones to cell phones only.
Instead of "911, What is your emergency?" the operator should say "911, What is the address of the emergency?"
That will give the caller the opportunity to tell the operator where s/he is at first. Obviously, other than prank calls, knowing "what is your emergency" is less important if the caller is going to be cut off in 30 seconds.
Scenario 1.
Q: 911, what is your emergency?
A: I am being attacked. Please help me.
Scenario 2.
Q: 911, what is the address of the emergency?
A: I am at St. Patrick's Church.
It makes a world of difference if the call is cut off at that point.
Your idea is not a bad one, but technology already accounts for address information. The 911 phone system accesses a database of location information maintained by a private company. There are several of these databases nationwide. The 911 operator instantly get the address information on their computer when the call connects.
Chris

Timmins, Canada

#17 Jun 16, 2013
How much do you normally get paid for this job & what kind of shifts 12hrs? Rotation ?
Is this a good job for someone who had kids.
I am bilingual just hoping I can take this online

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