Emergency Communications

  • 9-1-1 Operator/Clarifying Genius Extraordinaire

    As 9-1-1 operators, we clarify. We turn the whole conversation into a coherent incident that officers can respond to. As a clarifier, I learned that not every word or phrase means the same thing to everyone. For example, “just right now” does not mean...

    Article • April 8th, 2014

  • Death of an Officer

    When an officer dies, dispatchers feel so many things. Whether you worked it, didn’t work it, knew him or her personally or only as a co-worker, the grief is deep.

    Article • March 11th, 2014

  • Calling out the non-emergency 9-1-1 callers

    People call 9-1-1 for a variety of reasons. Although most are reference legitimate threats to life or property, a number of them are downright absurd. Renting a fire truck, getting a wake-up call and help because the gas pump won’t take the debit card...

    Article • February 11th, 2014

  • Troubles with Text to 9-1-1

    Auto correct embarrassments. SHOUTY CAPITALS. Cyber-jargon. All issues public safety telecommunications operators will face in the coming months as NG9-1-1 rolls out in more and more places.

    Article • February 4th, 2014

  • Reliving Sandy Hook

    Close to the anniversary of the slaughter at Sandy Hook, the court determined that Newtown Police Department must release the 9-1-1 tapes to the Associated Press. Several reasons beside the law have been argued including the American public’s right to...

    Article • December 10th, 2013

  • Honoring Telecommunication Heroes

    Unlike Miss. America, when a public safety operator gets a title, such as Telecommunicator of the Year, they do not go on a public speaking circuit making appearances all over the globe. Instead, they quietly accept their awards and go back to work.

    Article • November 12th, 2013

  • Emergency Communications 101: Part II

    Often public safety telecommunication personnel are left out of the loop as technology becomes more and more complicated. In Part I, basic radio component were described. In Part II, I discuss some of the terms and changes facing telecommunicators today...

    Article • October 8th, 2013

  • Emergency Communications 101: Basic Radio Info

    Often public safety telecommunication personnel are left out of the loop as technology becomes more and more complicated. We are given systems to figure out and use. With all the radio changes coming at us, we’ve missed out on the basics. Here’s an...

    Article • September 10th, 2013

  • Emergency Communications: The Future Is Now

    Big Data. Real-Time Intelligence Console. Beware. All of these terms add up to one seemingly futuristic concept not too far off in the distance.

    Article • August 27th, 2013

  • Innovative Programs Helping 9-1-1

    Many new programs are helping 9-1-1 operators do their jobs more efficiently and effectively. Programs that give us important information at the first ring, nursing triage and bounce-back messaging advising citizens they cannot text 9-1-1 help us do our...

    Article • July 9th, 2013

  • You Can’t Just Do My (Dispatcher) Job

    Seven computer screens. Doing seven things at once. Controlling chaos with just your voice. These are all things that make 9-1-1 operators/dispatchers unique. These are skills and attributes that make who we are and what we do special. You can’t just...

    Article • June 11th, 2013

  • APCO has Apps

    Dragonforce. ERG. Hybrid Vehicle Extrication. Adopt-a-Hydrant. All these apps and more exist in the technological world public safety works in. Now, thanks to APCO, you can find them all in one place.

    Article • May 17th, 2013

  • The Power of Recognition and Praise

    A Letter of Appreciation may seem like a simple thing. A pat on the back or a sticky note saying, “Good job” might only take a minute. Recognizing the hard work involved in dispatch/9-1-1 is important. It makes us feel valued and purposeful. Such...

    Article • April 9th, 2013

  • Dispatchers: Staying Positive in a Negative World

    Negativity surrounds us and we have to work in it. I’m surprised when I look around at children including the ones I work with. Many have horrific trauma and abuse backgrounds. Many of them stay upbeat and positive. Somebody taught them how to keep a...

    Article • March 12th, 2013

  • The Powers of a Police Dispatcher

    What I do and what I do not do from a Police Telecommunications Operator: I’m not a secretary, a dating service or a switchboard operator. I do have a sense of humor and can do 10 things at once. These are just a few of the things I wish my officers and...

    Article • February 15th, 2013

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