Blogs

1 person recommends this.
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 ...
0 comments

Meet & greet at APCO 2018

Be the first person to recommend this.
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 ...
0 comments
1 person recommends this.
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 ...
0 comments
Be the first person to recommend this.
​ 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? ...
0 comments
1 person recommends this.
Does anyone know how many PST's are in the state of Florida or where I can find it?​
0 comments
1 person recommends this.
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
0 comments
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. ...
1 comment
1 person recommends this.
Hello: Over the past year, we have experienced a loss of newly hired personnel due to transitions to other positions within the County. In response, we are exploring the possibility of issuing two year commitment agreements beyond the probationary period.  Does anyone have a template that has been used during your hiring process? Any help is greatly appreciated. Kind Regards, Suzanne Lowe Miami-Dade Police Department
1 comment
3 people recommend this.
In 1991 when I committed to take emergency calls from the community whenever the dire need of police, fire, and ambulance services arose, I was only concerned with my best service to the community. When I was trained to become a police dispatcher, my concern was to serve the police response team in such a manner to keep them informed and safe while responding to the community. When I committed to Lead my team of dispatchers, I concern opened up to where I strived to do my best to keep the men and women who I worked alongside of, well-versed and up to date while making sure the shift operated effectively. In 2009, after I accepted the job as Manager of ...
0 comments
1 person recommends this.
The CPRA (Southern California APCO) Chapter is once again offering the commemorative 2017 National Telecommunicators Week Buttons for sale. Proceeds go to supporting the Chapter's Annual Telecommunicator Awards Banquet. This will be the 29th year that the CPRA Chapter has held its annual banquet which will be held in conjunction with the 2017 Western Regional Conference during National Telecommunicators Week. To order buttons, visit the CPRA Chapter website at www.cpra.org. Quantities are limited
0 comments
3 people recommend this.
In my career of being in public safety telecommunications I am amazed at how far we have come when it comes to technology aiding a Telecommunicator in finding a caller and getting him/her the appropriate help. But, come on, how far is technology going to go before we realize that we simply are not ready? Up until now, Telecommunicators have never been on the scene to physically see the demands of law enforcement, fire fighters or emergency services personnel, but this is changing as technology is giving them the eyes to see. In North Carolina, Telecommunicators are now able to receive Text-to-911, and this includes the ability for callers to send images. ...
0 comments

Suicide training

3 people recommend this.
Was looking to see if anyone could share their policy for suicidal callers. Also, any suggestions for a training program for dealing with suicidal callers?
1 comment
2 people recommend this.
Global discipline is an easy way for a manager or supervisor to avoid having a difficult conversation. Often times this occurs during a staff meeting. The manager calls a meeting and gives a lecture in the hopes that the employee needing redirection realizes that the message is intended for him/her. The reality is majority of the time the employee misses the boat, thinking the message applies to someone else and the cycle of misbehavior and poor performance continues. You may be thinking, “How does she know this?” Well, as a telecommunicator who was promoted to communications manager with no succession plan, no leadership development, or guidance ...
2 comments
2 people recommend this.
How do you enjoy Thanksgiving this year when you voted differently than your relatives? It may depend upon who you voted for, and whether you think you won or lost. Here are some random thoughts based on Stop Workplace Drama, and No-Drama Leadership on how you can enjoy time with your family this Thanksgiving. The one with clarity navigates the ship If you set an intention for how you want Thanksgiving to go in advance you have a better chance of achieving your desired outcome. If the dinner is at your house, you have even more control of what boundaries you want to put in place. Perhaps you will decide that politics ...
0 comments
1 person recommends this.
All, We were looking to revamp our employee evaluations when the question came up as to their legitimacy in actually evaluating/improving workplace performance. We believe it to be a common practice that eventually leads to improved performance but how do we know? In that vein, we have created a small survey to lend some credibility to the employee eval process or send it packing and develop something else. If you wouldn't mind spending 5 minutes of your time completing the survey below, I'll be grateful. And if we get enough responses, we'll share the data. Thanks! Audrey Myers Program Specialist Stockton (CA) Fire Department Link - ...
0 comments
4 people recommend this.
Employee turnover taxes your time, your budget and puts strain on your seasoned staff. You know the routine. You take a deep breath and get on the hamster wheel. You post the positions, advertise the vacancies, process applications, conduct interviews, eliminate unqualified candidates and finally you hire four people. Then you go through the arduous task of technical training, hoping your seasoned staff will be patient and helpful. After six months, you’re lucky if one remains. As a director in public safety communications I have dealt with these issues, I realized that part of the reason people quit is because they don’t understand the demands ...
0 comments

Death of a Member

1 person recommends this.
Pennsylvania APCO is saddened to advise that our chapter's longtime Secretary, Diane Benner, passed away this morning. Diane had been a mainstay for years in AP CO here in Pennsylvania, as well as on the regional and national levels. Thanks to her, numerous telecommunicators were trained over the many years. Diane served as chapter secretary and also on many conference committees. She was a voice that guided emergency service responders for years in Columbia and Montour Counties. She also volunteered with local EMS agencies. We, at Pennsylvania APCO, will miss her sense of humor and friendship. We also offer condolences to her family. Arrangements have not ...
0 comments
2 people recommend this.
Does this sound the least bit familiar? That’s not my job! I don’t get paid enough to do that! That’s not fair. Has your open door become a revolving door of negativity and complaints? You already deal with the public’s drama. You don’t need workplace drama! Nowhere is the impact of workplace drama more dangerous than public safety. Every day you handle life or death situations while Big Brother watches every move. If anyone messes up, you are subject to litigation. Leaders who work in public safety communications experience mental stress, burnout, and a higher threat for turnover due to the nature of this high-stress profession and work ...
0 comments
1 person recommends this.
Leadership is never as easy as it looks. No matter how strong the work-ethic, or how great the technical performance, leaders at almost every level experience some of the same challenges. Do any of these issues sound familiar? The star employee isn’t “playing well” with others Misunderstandings resulted in lost business Difficult conversations are avoided due to fear or time factors Inheriting a poor performer who has tenure or seniority Emotional stressors of being asked to do more with less Navigating through the resistance of unwanted change Overcoming the “Us versus Them” mentality Ineffective ...
0 comments
1 person recommends this.
I usually do not comment on the open forms too often or on the blogs but this one certainly peaked my interests. And I like to play Devils advocate...So? One of the other blogs had this topic about a dispatcher coming into work and complaining because her computer at her desk wasn't working correctly. And the she watched the complaining go on for 45 minutes before she went out to the desk and actually fixed the issue. Now other co-workers had joined in this "complaining" as well as the original dispatcher. So the APCO member asked the question why wouldn't she just ask someone to get it fixed? (basically I am summarizing here of course) So I thought ...
1 comment