Beheshtian, Sara - 911 Operator

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Job Title: Emergency 911/Non-Emergency Operator and Police Dispatcher (Sara Beheshtian)


Contents

[edit] General Overview

Emergency Communications are available 24-hour available service. Operators make inbound and outbound calls from a call centre to address a variety of civilian questions, concerns and reports (E-Comm 9-1-1, 2011). The operator acts as a first responder for emergency and non-emergency related matters (E-Comm 9-1-1, 2011). They are required to listen, communicate as well as dispatch the appropriate services and service persons to the appropriate location (E-Comm 9-1-1, 2011). This job entails working shift work, evenings, weekends and holidays (Toronto Police Service, 2014). The operator must be equipped to handling stressful situations and should be able to carry out tasks accurately and in a calm manor (Toronto Police Service, 2014). These professionals exhibit great organization, a strong ability to multitask and work well under pressure (Toronto Police Service, 2014). This job also requires operators to be respectful, and adhere to strict confidentiality policies and perform with integrity and honesty (Toronto Police Service, 2014).

[edit] Job Duties and Responsibilities

To be an Emergency 911/Non-Emergency Operator and Police Dispatcher, tasks that are required, but not limited to include: • Dispatch and organize the appropriate responses to calls • Enter detailed reports, communications scripts and complaints into a varieties of government databases • Operate a radio and monitor surveillance equipment • Assign levels of priority, think critically and perform crisis intervention • Conduct driver license and wanted persons queries as per request of officer personnel • Assign case numbers to incident reports and provided highly detailed information • Receive calls from multiple platforms via the internal police lines, text and phones


[edit] Typical Work Day

911 Operators are required to be flexible as the service operates 24/7 all year round (E-Comm 9-1-1, 2011). Shift work is what is expected and is not limited to evenings, weekends and holidays (E-Comm 9-1-1, 2011). Employment can be Full Time or Part Time with on average 12 hour shifts (E-Comm 9-1-1, 2011). Rotations require operators to be four days on desk and then four days off (E-Comm 9-1-1, 2011). Shifts begin either early morning or late night (E-Comm 9-1-1, 2011). Overtime the operator will be able to take on more tasks and keep up with constantly changing emergency issues (E-Comm 9-1-1, 2011). The operator should be able to work quickly and effectively. They gain experience in delivering crisis intervention as a first respondent. The work setting takes place in a call center that will involve a large room of other 911 operators (E-Comm 9-1-1, 2011). They are required to sit at a desk, wear a head set to make the hands available for switching and opening lines as well as typing and operating a computer and database (Toronto Police Service, 2014). Operators will become accustomed to working in a busy environment where the there will be multiple conversations going on at once and they will be able to filter out background noise and focus diligently. Operators work alongside colleagues, however, the work is conducted independent and co-workers should not interfere, as every call is potentially important. The clients that use this service are diverse. Cooperation and communication between a large diverse population that is not restricted by age, gender race, social economic status, character, visible or non-visible minorities, disabilities and more is common place (Royal Canadian Mounted Police, 2012).

[edit] Basic Requirements

• Canadian Citizenship

• At least 19 years of age or older

• Knowledge of Computer Operating Systems and applications; emphasis on word processing

• Meet the language requirements specific to job posting Example English, Bilingual French or Other if specified

• Meet the medical standards required by specific police department such as fitness training and eye examinations

[edit] Educational Requirements and Other Qualifications

• High School Diploma and or College Emergency Telecommunications Certificate, Degree in public services, police foundations, criminology, psychology and communications or related field. Link provided is a college program that provides specific training for the requirements to become a 911 operator. http://www.humber.ca/program/emergency-telecommunications

• Experience in emergency settings is an asset either paid or volunteered

• Experience in a multi-media platform and computer skills

• Excellent with computers and demonstrate efficient and accurate keyboarding that require application to be able to type at least 40 words per minute

• Acceptable certificate for typing may be obtained from an institute or tested throughout applicant process

• Knowledge of geographical area, communities, streets, and landmarks an asset

• Pass entrance exam informally known as (RPAB) RCMP Police Aptitude Battery

• Pass structured interview conducted by officers of the department

• Pass psychological evaluation

• Pass audiogram/hearing test, excellent or corrected vision

• Pass security screening and interview

• Training is required which consisted several hours of guided crises intervention

• Differences between region is possible, differences can be specified in job posting

[edit] Related Skills, Interests, and Abilities

The following are skills that are required outside of the academic settings that include innate skills:

• Interpersonal and communication skills in order effectively dispatch services and interact with coworkers and civilian members

• Critical thinking, rational judgment and decision making in order to problem solve in high stress situations

• Ability to be stationary for extended periods of time as the majority of the work takes place at desk operating telephones and other software’s

• Ability to listen effectively to ensure the appropriate services are dispatched

• Ability to work independently which are required to serve high volumes of calls

• Highly motivated to ensure the safety of the public and its civil servants

• Remains in control, composed and well organized while under stressful situations

• Professionalism and integrity by ensuring to keep a calm demeanor represent the police department in a positive way

• Ability to accept new challenges as circumstances often require high levels of adaptability

• Adapt easily to evolving technology, environments and on-call situations as new system can be implemented to improve functionality

[edit] Relevance of Psychology Undergraduate Degree

Several skills and requirements may be obtained from an undergraduate degree in Psychology. University, allows you the opportunity to gain extensive experience typing quickly, listening to verbal and written dictation, extensive collection of information and prioritizing tasks. The skills extracted from the curriculum apply to the work force. Psychology allows insight into human behaviour and interactions with others. Universities may offer courses such as cognition that allows for better insight in human biases and the conditions that we process information under. Courses such as perception allows us to better understand how we make sense of and perceive the world. Social psychology allows us to observe differences in our behaviours when interacting with groups and how they are individually and holistically in the overall community. This is only a small example of how university can prepare students to enter the work force. A university education is relevant to the job description in that things such as cognitive will have given insight how the people we may interact with think, help us determine and further analyze the position that they may be in. And where perception is relevant to the job in that the information relied through perception is detrimental in recreating an accurate picture of the current problem and attempting to solve it through dispatch operations. Social psychology is relevant to the job in that it provides insights on how others communicate or are affected by others that operators may encounter while on the job. Furthermore, the basics of any psychology program will introduce students to biases such as by-stander affect, co-witness contamination, arousal-weapon theory, conformity which is helpful for when interacting with the public. Courses with content regarding abnormal psychology teaches about mental disorders and diagnostic criteria, which is relevant in terms of assessing and analyzing situations that an operator may encounter. The person calling may be the person with a mental disorder or they may be calling about someone who has one. This allows the operator background and introductory knowledge about and expected behaviours. Furthermore, universities may offer courses such as forensic psychology or violent predators which will allow for further information on the type of crimes, criminals and formal legal and police procedures involved in specific crime or offender types. Knowledge of this is applicable to the job as phone calls have potential to turn into legal documents for the use of reprimandation and criminal record construction. Other courses available to take while completing an undergraduate degree are the courses available in the sociology department that are even further relevant to the job description as there are courses such as crime, surveillance and security, human rights, liberties and freedoms, criminal code and law and more. Courses such as offers a basis of knowledge surrounding police work, procedures, policies, and the character of rights, the criminal code, criminal act and ethics. Having this knowledge will provide a wide platform of knowledge that will be useful for when making decisions, reasoning, and writing reports.


[edit] Salary Potential

Starting Salary ranges from $45,000-$50,000 a year depending on city and police department recruiting (Government of Canada, 2013). The amount of formal education, experience and assets such as bilingualism cause yearly salary to fluctuate (Government of Canada, 2013). Furthermore, depending on the type or size of the region, bigger cities result in larger wages (Government of Canada, 2013). Above $50,000 is possible after several years of experience and promotions to higher positions such as management that overlook the entire operation.


[edit] Job Outlook

The projected employment growth for a 911 operator is estimated at 0.7% from 2011 and 2016 (Government of Canada, 2013). The demand appears to plateau over the last few years and is growing slowly (Government of Canada, 2013). 911 Operator positions are often civilian opportunities and a large population of people possess the minimum educational requirements, is a high school diploma or equivalent. Years of dedication and experience to the police force open opportunities to enter higher demand jobs available to the police department internally (Government of Canada, 2013).


[edit] Additional Information

Information is subjected to change depending on the regional depends, education requirements and salary, This link provides information of a college program in emergency communications http://www.humber.ca/program/emergency-telecommunications. I recommend the Humber College Emergency Telecommunications program link for more information about schooling for this career. As well as any police regions website ex. Toronto Police website offer information about job posting, examinations and additional requirements http://www.torontopolice.on.ca/communications/training.php. Statistically this career as remained the same for several years in terms of salary and demand however I would recommend the use of Stats Canada for the most recent information http://www80.statcan.gc.ca/wes-esw/page1-eng.htm.


[edit] References

E-Comm 9-1-1 (2011) 9-1-1 Call Takers. About The Emergency Communications Operator. Retrieved from http://www.ecomm911.ca/join-our-team/911-call-takers.php

Government of Canada (2013). Dispatchers and Radio Operators. Service Canada People Serving People. Retrieved from http://www.servicecanada.gc.ca/eng/qc/job_futures/statistics/1475.shtml

Royal Canadian Mounted Police (2012). Telecommunications Operators (9-1-1 Dispatcher).Retrieved from http://www.rcmp-grc.gc.ca/recruiting-recrutement/cm-mc/teleopsopstele-eng.htm#app

Toronto Police Service (2014). Communications Services. Training and Recruiting Unit.Retrieved from http://www.torontopolice.on.ca/communications/training.php

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