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Training Resources

One of the most difficult and critical tasks a communications can undertake is to train a new dispatcher. Besides trying to insure the success of the employee, the trainers must impart knowledge about many different topics, including philosophy of law enforcement and firefighting, law, technical topics (radio, telephone, computers), management of stress, handling difficult callers, and listening and speaking skills.

To make sure that training is done thoroughly, completely and in a standardized manner, every communications center should have a training manual that can be issued to each new employee. The manual sets out in clear, printed form what tasks are to be performed, what behavior is to expected, and how each task can be successfully performed. The document then becomes a point of reference for every employee if a question arises about a particular policy, procedure or method.

I’ve taken actual training materials and combined them to create a sample training guide for a police and fire communications center. While it is quite comprehensive, it could not be used without extensive customization by your agency, and the addition of many sections that pertain to your individual operation. Even so, it should provide a starting point for creating your own training manual.

Also check:

Trainers and consultants
Shiftwork and staffing resources
Ethics

Note: While we have taken every precaution to present correct and proper information in this training material, you should carefully review the material in the training guide for its legal appropriateness to your state, county and local jurisdiction, its applicability to your equipment and personnel practices, and its applicability to your comm center’s policies and procedures.

The following files are in HTML format:

Introduction
Call-Taking / NENA Model Calltaking Standard (pdf)
Fire Radio
Police Radio

Entire training manual

I’ve prepared several training forms, including evaluation forms for training and on-going performance reviews.

Tracking Software — The following companies provide computer software for tracking the training that your dispatchers receive, including initial and on-going training: