Tuesday, March 4, 2008
Today I attended a Power Point training on how to handle NON-EMERGENCY CALLS. Yes, they actually required us to attend this training! I was amazed that they were able to find enough material on this subject to fill 6 1/2 hours. Thirty individuals from various police, fire and dispatch centers (8 from our COMM center) came to our facility to listen, learn and share their experiences in dealing with John Q. Public. Let me tell you, what could have been a real boring session, turned into a very interesting and humorous learning environment! Several of the films that the instructor brought with her were hilarious!(Pardon me maam, you said you're locked "inside" your car?) The main focus of the training was to bring us to a positive place, thinking of the caller as "the customer" and delivering exceptional "customer service". The roles of the dispatchers in the room varied from one person dispatch for a PD, to COMM centers full of dispatchers who handle mostly emergency calls and transfer non-emergency calls, to FD firefighters who dispatch when needed, etc. There were several people who had taken the job of dispatcher with a PD to get their foot in the door because they wanted to be an police officer. I'm not sure if they really wanted to be there at first, but I'm glad they came. When they do get to be officers, they will be able to relate to the other side of the mike! There sure was a lot of experience sitting in that room. 15 years, 12 years, 10 years on the job, some just starting out with only 3 months under their belts. It was a good mix. Most of the workbook contained material that I had already seen/heard in other trainings but I did come out of the class with some useful information. Everyone had something to share, a funny story (open mikes, mute buttons that didn't work, unusual calls). Overall, I think it's good to get together with others in the field, as a reminder that we all share a common experience, a common bond. Now if we can just get some training for John Q. Public!