Telecommunicators & Training
Public safety telecommunicators are often the first point of contact in an emergency. They begin the important work of obtaining essential information, remaining calm, calming others, and sending the appropriate responders to the right location. They may also provide instructions to the 911 caller, which in many cases is essential to stabilizing or saving a life.
Throughout the nation, 911 call centers or public safety answering points (PSAPs)—also called Emergency Communication Centers (ECCs)—are managed by a variety of local and state agencies . This varied governance produces a unique challenge for training telecommunicators, as each agency may have its own educational standards.
Some 911 professionals are certified as emergency medical dispatchers (EMDs), emergency fire dispatchers (EFDs) or emergency police dispatchers (EPDs). Managers and supervisors may also be certified as emergency number professionals (ENPs) or certified public-safety executives (CPEs).
The National 911 Program supports the work of the 911 community to provide training strategies for telecommunicators and has previously convened a working group of 911 associations to develop recommended minimum training guidelines for telecommunicators.
PSAPs continue to struggle with staffing and classification issues, and the Program supports efforts to improve recruiting and retention at 911 centers for the thousands of telecommunicators working to serve their communities across the U.S.
As the duties of telecommunicators continue to evolve and expand, the National 911 Program works with the broader 911 community to reclassify the 911 Telecommunicator from “Office and Administrative Support” to a “Protective Service Occupation.” A four-part Public Safety Telecommunicator Reclassification toolkit helps PSAPs address the changes the Bureau of Labor Statistics needs to see to reclassify telecommunicators.