Blogs

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We at the Tuscaloosa County Emergency Communications District are looking into the development of a position titled "Senior Telecommunicator".  We plan to insert this position classification as a step above a basic telecommunicator and under the position of shift supervisor. At a minimum, the individual must have obtained a C.T.O. certification which is in good standing. We are in budget preparations for the upcoming fiscal year. Your input would be invaluable. Does any agency have a sample job description, for an equivalent position, they could send me? Thank you, Vincent Corrao Deputy Director
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5 people recommend this.
In 911 PSAPs around the world, there are conversations taking place regarding poor performance issues. The reality of this statement is that many of the conversations taking place are unproductive, creating a drama-filled work environment where employees continue to gossip, bully, or use passive-aggressive behavior to manipulate others. If you are a supervisor, manager or director complaining to a colleague or group of people regarding a "bad apple" or "poor performer", think about how your statements are positioning you as a leader. The other day, I was shadowing a shift and overheard the shift supervisor talking with her coworkers, making negative ...
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Stop Taking the Bait

2 people recommend this.
When you have a member of your team approach you to share of a little gossip regarding a co-worker, how do you handle it? Do you have them pull up a chair and engage in unproductive conversation? Do you get upset and make rude, inappropriate comments? Do you react by showing your authority? Or, do you become frustrated and take your anger out on the whole shift or department? You know, it's easy to take the bait of buying into the stories and assumptions of others and allow negativity and destruction to take its course. It's especially easy when caught off guard to react without thinking. When in a position of supervising, managing or leading, you have ...
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1 person recommends this.
As a   PSAP   manager one of the BIGGEST responsibilities is hiring and onboarding new employees. Let's face it, this profession is one where the doors are constantly swinging open with turnover . It's easy to blame the management team, but the issues with retention in PSAPs are much more rooted than what's on the surface of workplace relationships.  Often, PSAP managers find themselves filling vacant positions due to the stressors of the job, the demands of the work schedule, less than appealing salaries/benefits, or lack of   training   or advancement opportunities due to not having an adequate budget. When PSAP managers are faced with filling these ...
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2 people recommend this.
If you are leading in any capacity, whether it be mentoring a new hire, supervising a shift, or running a department, you will find yourself in a position of tough love when it comes to redirecting behaviors or disciplining of personnel. Emotions play a BIG part in how we lead and how we communicate with our team(s). Some days we may experience joy, happiness, pride, or achievement, while other days our emotions are on a rollercoaster of frustration, sadness or disappointment. So, how do you handle your emotions? Do they get the best of you by triggering an outburst? Do you gossip with those who you will find agreement? Are you passive aggressive and create ...
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When HR Calls

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Managing a   PSAP   is not an easy undertaking. There are many challenges that you will face and overcome when leading in an environment that is already set up to be toxic. Your personnel are not only dealing with their own personal issues but also taking on the mental stressors of their co-workers, serviced personnel, and even complete strangers with every 911 call they process. If you think that your work environment will be rid of   drama , my friend, you are sadly mistaken. As much as you may put forth your best efforts in leading your team(s), life happens. People will disappoint you, not understand you and even gossip about what they think your ...
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1 person recommends this.
There are many challenges working in a 911 PSAP , call center environment. The challenges are not only in the skills of performing the job but also in the managing of energy around other co-workers. Some co-workers will bring out the best in you while others will test you to the nth degree. In my experience of managing, there have been multiple times where I have played a role in working with personnel to address an issue that otherwise would not have been resolved without mediation. From these encounters, there is one emotion that continues to raise its head that tells me when someone has allowed a situation to go on for way too long. That emotion is frustration. ...
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One, two, three!

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ONE, TWO, THREE!!  GUESS WHAT WEEK IS COMING UP!!! It is just under three months before the celebration begins! This year National Public Safety Telecommunicator’s Week is April 14-22 nd !  It is a week-long celebration of recognition for those public safety professionals, the first, first responders, under the headsets working to keep America’s first responders and citizens safe. Have you checked out the buttons the Southern California Chapter of APCO, or CPRA has for sale? CPRA began selling the buttons 29 years ago.  They still only cost $1 each.  Check out the button at www.cpra.org   You’ll love it!  We already ordered ours! Some other ...
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1 person recommends this.
We currently have a 911 coordinator position open at my agency and we are currently looking for some interview questions for this position.  If you could help me please email them to me at Rickyr@nassauso.com. Thanks for your help in advance.
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​I am here for you.   I will listen to you .  We will learn from each other .  We will mentor each other .  ​
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1 person recommends this.
A simple guide outlining common features useful to PSConnect bloggers while in the blog editor... Headings Headings (like that directly above) can be utilized to improve the design of your blog, along with other element. To create a heading go to the Styles menu under Formats > Headings and select a heading of your choice, then type your heading. To start your next line in default font size hold Shift on the keyboard and press Enter at the same time (Shift+Enter). This will conduct a line break down to normal sized texted. Do the same to add a new heading after normal sized text further into your blog. Inserting Media Inserting ...
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APCO COnference

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I am home now from APCO and wrote about my trip on my personal blog. http://greycliffschronicles.blogspot.com/
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Hello Everyone Our agency has been working on 12hr shifts for many years and now they want us to move to 40hr a week schedule. We have six dispatchers and we are open 24/7 360 days a yr. Does anyone work on a 40hr work week that is open 24/7 ? Right now we work a long week and a short week. I have tried coming up with a schedule but not having any luck. If someone could share their schedule I would greatly appreciate it. Thank you in advance.  Maria Gonzalez Palmetto Police Department Palmetto Florida 941-721-2000
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Calling all of you FIsh & Game Telecommunicators & field personnel who work in the conservation or natural resources division of Public Safety. We have our own Community! Come join the group. Share your ideas. How do you handle this unique job? Not only do we work with people but we must deal with wild animals of all sorts on a daily basis. Many of us work for a State. In my case, our Department has one Dispatch center for the entire state. That is a lot of geography to keep in my head! Different parts of the State have different issues. Rules are supposed to be the same but we all know how that goes. Cover units can take hours. Talk about being on the ...
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We so seldom have the opportunity to meet and greet others from out profession and APCO is that chance. I'm attending on my own dime, taking vacation time to do so. I want to make the most of it. How do you pick me out in the crowd? I'm the short white gal with white/grey hair. Yup, been doing this for a LONG time and the job has bleached out the blonde from my hair (it used to be a nice golden color) from worrying over my units. Don't be a stranger! Let's share stories about our agencies. Maybe sit together for lunch or dinner instead of alone. Maybe you will walk away with a new friend and just maybe a free copy of the book "What is your emergency? The history ...
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Introduction The Communications Specialist position for Police and Fire Agencies is often the person to make first contact during an incident and be the coordinator of resources for much of an incident. The rise of large-scale, fast moving incidents such as terrorist attacks and mass casualty incidents has raised the question, “What is the specific role of the Dispatcher in a large-scale incident?” The answer lies in addressing where the Dispatcher belongs within the Incident Command System (ICS) and how to best utilize this limited resource. Current Communications Specialist Position   The National Incident Management System (NIMS) established in ...
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​ Here we are on the Monday after TC week. Some PSAPs are boxing up the decorations, some are still in a food coma (raising my hand), and believe it or not sadly some didn’t even know it had come and gone. Recently on a 9-1-1 Facebook group there was a post which had agencies who weren’t getting recognized last week. The list was long, too long. I am passionate about two things in this profession, training and recognition. I create courses, give speeches, and encourage recognition every chance I get. My challenge to you is to recognize your Telecommunicators, not just one dedicated week, but all year long. What can you do to continue recognition in the PSAP? ...
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Does anyone know how many PST's are in the state of Florida or where I can find it?​
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Good Afternoon!  Curious to see how many PSAP's are using the digital (800) 2 tone paging for FD/EMS?  Any pro's and con's??  Thanks
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6 people recommend this.
Morale is a constant issue we face in public safety answering points. It is something I have struggled with, both when I was a dispatcher, and as a supervisor. Career burnout can happen very fast , but there are things we can do to curb that. Personnel are confined to a room for long hours, have to deal with high-stress incidents, and also have to deal with difficult coworkers (from inside the Comm. Center and on the other side of the radio). Many dispatchers/call takers feel a lack of the ability to grow - while on the sworn side there are many growth and developmental opportunities, but in Communications- in many agencies there is limited growth potential. ...
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