Training & Quality Assurance
The telecommunicator is the initial and primary contact point for persons needing police, medical and/or fire assistance. Telecommunicators also provide a channel for communications between field providers and other public safety agencies. Telecommunicators must ask specific questions and make rational split-second decisions; they provide comfort and reassurance to callers and instruct callers in life-saving intervention techniques.
Dauphin County’s telecommunicators are highly skilled professional individuals able to multitask to follow scripted protocols and operating guidelines to ensure every caller and every incident receives the highest level of quality care. Telecommunicators receive 18-24 months of intensive, continuous training in order to facilitate the understanding of all call processing and dispatch applications in the Emergency Communications Center (ECC). In order to meet the most stringent standards required of them, telecommunicators are constantly receiving updates, continuing education, recertification exams, new specialized training, and quality assurance (QA) reviews.
Quality assurance reviews are performed on each telecommunicator in both call processing and dispatch procedures. Events are selected randomly and reviewed to ensure the established protocols, procedures and operating guidelines are followed. A feedback report is provided to the telecommunicator and his/her Shift Supervisor. If certain standards are not met, the telecommunicator will receive additional remedial training, or in rare cases, disciplinary action.
The review process is performed several times a week and the data collected from reviews is used as an evaluation tool for the telecommunicator, to develop training programs for the Agency, and to identify ways to improve the services provided to the community. Quality assurance standards are outlined by the International Academy of Emergency Dispatch (IAED) and by Pennsylvania Statute (4 PA Code Chapter 120d).