Top Comm Center Headlines
Norman will have a new Emergency Operations Center after a close vote by the City Council approved the use of American Rescue Plan Act funds for the project. After a 5-3 vote, the proposed facility will see $9.5 million of ARPA funds to cover a shortfall in the $15...
Israel’s National Fire and Rescue Authority has launched its new cutting-edge dispatch system—one that will provide the fire service with enhanced capabilities and put it on the same computer platform as Magen David Adom (MDA), Israel’s emergency medical service. The...
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The on-duty fire chief that was supposed to have been dispatched to a house fire on Woodlawn Avenue in Hamilton earlier this month, where three people died, was not alerted by the Mercer County dispatch center, officials confirmed Wednesday. Officials described the...
Like many local businesses, the Anderson County Sheriff’s Office is struggling to find people to fill vacant positions. Sheriff Rudy Flores said one of his greatest challenges continues to be finding qualified applicants for available positions. “We currently have...
LAWRENCE CO. – The Lawrence County council approved the hiring of two dispatchers at a higher rate of pay due to their level of experience. One dispatcher worked previously as a Hamilton County dispatcher and has more than 10 years of experience, and the second...
POINT PLEASANT — A longtime Mason County 9-1-1 dispatcher has been named the Association of Public Safety Communications Officials (APCO) West Virginia Telecommunicator of the Year. Ethel Taylor of Point Pleasant was surprised with the award Tuesday during a party in...
WILSON, N.C. (AP) — A North Carolina county's emergency communications unit engaged in unlawful retaliation when it terminated a worker after she told supervisors that she had been sexually harassed while on the job, according to a lawsuit filed by the U.S....
At the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, a U.S. government medical training institution, David Lyons has been upgrading the phones. In 2015, USU — which educates students who want to serve in federal health professions, similar to the...
Public Safety Advocate: FirstNet Growth, Another MCPTT Option, FirstNet 10-Year Anniversary Soon, 4.9 GHz
This week we will look at the numbers as FirstNet (Built with AT&T) continues to add more agencies and users and we will discuss its plans to support another Push-To-Talk (PTT) application. We will then consider the possibility that the Federal Communications...
CALEA accreditation is an accomplishment less than five percent of all law enforcement agencies attain The Kansas Highway Patrol Communications Center was honored with a Certificate of Accreditation by the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, Inc....
When it comes to user-interface design, 911 is about as good as it gets. It’s the “most recognized number in the United States,” Steve Souder, a prominent 911 leader, points out. Simple, fast, and it works from any telephone in the United States. No matter what the...
When describing the personality of Brandy Watts, the word “enthusiastic” immediately comes to mind, especially when the police dispatcher is discussing her career in law enforcement. As a dispatcher with the Bakersfield Police Department for more than 20 years, Watts,...
Thousands of 911 centers are improving their response by leveraging the life-saving data of the RapidSOS Clearinghouse. Now, thanks to our NICE Inform integration with RapidSOS, that same data can transform your post incident reconstruction and investigations. Double...
No Shawnee County 911 calls went unanswered Sunday evening because of an AT&T outage that affected dispatching centers in Shawnee and Sedgwick counties. For an unknown amount of time, people calling 911 in Sedgwick County weren't getting through due to the outage,...
People using 911 in Fairfax County can now provide medical details and other information to help first responders know more about a situation before they arrive. The county rolled out the change on July 1, allowing people to sign up ahead of time with information...
DURANT – Durant Communications and Bryan County 911 Dispatchers began using an upgraded Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) system during calls Tuesday starting at 9 a.m. “The new CAD software upgrade interface is more user-friendly and 911 Dispatchers now have quicker...
RICHMOND HEIGHTS, Ohio -- City Council heard Tuesday (July 27) a presentation from its police and fire chiefs about the possibility of merging the Heights Hillcrest Communications Center, upon which the city has relied since 2018 for its dispatch services, with the...
WICHITA, Kan. (KAKE) - The state's backup system for 911 centers isn't much help for Sedgwick County. It wasn't working during a two-hour outage early Sunday morning. Sedgwick County's 911 system went down around 12:30 a.m. Sunday and operators didn't discover the...
SOUTH EUCLID, Ohio -- Member communities of the Heights Hillcrest Communications Center (HHCC) are in the process of determining whether to merge with Chagrin Valley Dispatch, and South Euclid has become the first to move the process forward. Those HHCC cities include...
Wednesday, July 14, 2021
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Addressing changes Watch now: Bristol, Virginia working to comply with Next Generation 911 system (VA)
Samantha Hawkins Every 911 operator has that call that will demand more of them than usual … this was mine. I was the second 911 operator she had spoken with that morning. Only six minutes into our phone conversation on that 911 line, I had determined that she very...
12PM - The Big Lead // GUEST: Former Sheriff John Urquhart defends the 911 dispatcher on Sherman's wife's call, explains procedure and training // Gov. Inslee says everything is climate change // Twitter upset with us for airing 911 call [PODCAST]
On April 20 at approximately 11 a.m. a 73-year-old woman fell at her home on County Road 109 (Oakland Hills). After falling she was able to get herself to her cell phone and placed a call to 911. Upon making contact with the dispatch center for American Medical...
No matter the agency, we all have the officer that complains that
we are picking on them. We all know it’s mainly because it’s in their beat or
sector or they are the closest unit. It’s also because we are too busy with pending calls to care if their
feelings are hurt. A few of us make these officers feel our wrath by sending
them from one side of town to the other, fielding every report under the sun.
How many of us are envisioning the officer we want to do that to?
Ultimately, we all want every one of our officers to go home, and
we all want to catch the bad guy and be the best dispatcher we can be for our
In 2010, my agency went through some changes. Uncomfortable
changes I couldn’t get past. My lack of maturity and perspective got me in
trouble, and I decided to leave. A few years went by and I had to grow up. What
I learned was that in the end, the only one that had control over my life and
my future was me. I returned to the career I loved and from that point on I
decided I was going to outlive the BS.
Seven years later, several people in my agency are unhappy and
quitting. Reflecting on my unhappier times, I, like many of my current co-workers,
would project the blame of my problems onto others, believing they’re picking
on me. After this reflection I realized that every time I was acting out or
complaining, I was being the jerk officer grumbling about my dispatcher.
On the flip side, one of our officers will go through calls, clearing
them as quickly as possible, and we seldom hear a complaint. She just does her
job. Unfortunately, we take advantage of this type of officer. Like her, once I
was back in the headset again, I dove in headfirst, going above and beyond with
every opportunity I could. I got overwhelmed. I was doing great at work, but I
wasn’t doing so great at home. At that point, I decided I was just going to dispatch.
As dispatchers we are seldom thinking about the environment that
we are creating for our responders. We’re constantly focused on our duties, forcing
responders to milk calls to take care of their personal needs. That’s the
environment we create. We’re focused on the task at hand and less on the hands
that take care of the task.
We all have a dispatcher in our lives. For some of us it’s a supervisor,
sergeant, or even the dispatch manager. We get frustrated because they don’t
see it from our end. They don’t understand our needs. We fail to realize that they’re
our dispatchers; not literally, but they’re focused on the task at hand and
less on the hand that takes care of the task.
None of this is meant for you to go home and fix everything.
The purpose is for you to have a little more understanding, compassion,
Understand there’s always another motivation but the end goal is
still the same—to give the best service to the citizens that you are there to serve
If you are the employee: You’re not just another butt in a seat, you are someone’s hero and protector. You have their six. Likewise, understand that your supervisor or manager (or whoever) is your dispatcher, and they’ve got your six too.
About the Author
Michael Mendoza is a Texas Master Telecommunicator with over 10 years in the industry and Texas Commission of Law Enforcement (TCOLE) certified trainer.
We Speak Dispatch is a group of 911 professionals discussing topics from the headlines, topics that are fun and interesting, topics that you care about. Our engaging conversations are designed to inspire more conversations, so if you have a topic you’d like to see...
We join local law enforcement agencies in celebrating the “hidden heroes” — the telecommunications operators whose behind-the-scenes work is just as important as police you see out on the streets. This week is National Telecommunicators Week, which occurs every year...
This is the first installment in a series of fictional dramatizations about the trials and tribulations of a public safety telecommunicator. The story is fictional, but the circumstances are real for many employed in public safety communications.
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