Crisis Communication for Dispatchers

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Length of Seminar: 2 Days
Instructor: Kelly DeVoll

Course Overview:

Today, approximately 85% of the U.S. is covered by a 9-1-1 system. It is estimated that 99% of the adults living in these covered regions are aware that they should dial “9-1-1” in the event of a crisis situation or medical emergency. Today, emergency telecommunicators (also referred to as dispatchers”) are experiencing an ever-increasing volume of calls, and many of those calls involving some type of critical incident. Various factors such as a rise in domestic violence and other troubling issues, “post 9/11”, higher public expectations, and more have caused this increase.

The need for crisis communication training for emergency telecommunicators is unquestioned. Telecommunicators are best described as the “crisis negotiator” or as the “first person” on the scene of every incident. They perform a complex and stressful job function within law enforcement that range from handling various types of crisis and emergency incidents to performing administrative support tasks.

Telecommunicators must perform these functions while remaining calm, focused, as well as ensuring the safety of the caller and responding personnel. The outcome of emergency situations will depend on the questions asked, the decisions made, and the actions taken.

Telecommunicators are often exposed to a variety of emotions from emergency calls. Remaining poised and calm allows the telecommunicator to be in control of situation. The methods for handling callers in different crisis situations will be discussed throughout this course.

Primary Topics for this training include:

  • Crisis Intervention & Management
  • Crisis Communication Skills
  • Angry and/or Difficult Callers
  • Mental Impairments
  • Suicide Intervention
  • Family/Domestic Violence & Intervention
  • Hostage & Barricade Incidents

International Association of Hostage Negotiators is a division of Public Agency Training Council
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