|Action||Comprehensive Review of Dispatch Regulations|
|Comment Period||Ends 7/27/2016|
NOIRA - Rules Related to Compulsory Minimum Training Standards for Dispatchers
The below comments are submitted on behalf of the Virginia APCO ProCHRT Committee (Professional Communications Human Resource Committee), with the consent of the Virginia APCO Executive Board. The composition of this committee includes representatives from numerous 9-1-1 Centers’ in our state, both large and small, urban and rural.
The following was included in a previous (February 2016) Virginia Regulatory Town Hall submission on behalf of Virginia APCO ProCHRT related to this topic: The current DCJS standards lack any requirement or expectation for on-going or in-service training. The reality is those working in dispatch centers answering 9-1-1 calls and/or dispatching emergency services are part of the public safety community and disciplines. Needed on-going/in-service training should occur in this area of public safety as occurs in other areas of public safety, such as law enforcement and emergency medical services. The preliminary draft text showing the potential revisions to Rules Related to Compulsory Minimum Training Standards for Dispatchers include the requirement for in-service/on-going training. This is appropriate and essential for public safety dispatch personnel in Virginia and continues to be supported by Virginia APCO ProCHRT. The following comments are offered regarding the preliminary draft text:
The inclusion of in-service/on-going training for public safety dispatch personnel follows this requirement for other public safety disciplines in Virginia providing additional consistency in the training of those operating within the public safety disciplines in our state.
As included in the draft language, in-service/on-going training for public safety dispatch personnel must include cultural diversity training, legal training, and other/elective training as currently occurs for law enforcement personnel in our state.
When determining the frequency of recertification, following the current recertification timelines used for law enforcement personnel of generally two-years seems reasonable and would provide uniformity with recertification in the standards.
When determining the appropriate number of hours needed, following other established minimum hour requirements seems appropriate. Sixteen hours, as is currently required for courtroom security/process service officers in DCJS standards, should be included in the regulation. This will allow for the needed in-service/on-going training to occur for public safety dispatch personnel while balancing any additional personnel/other costs this may present to agencies and jurisdictions.
The inclusion of in-service/on-going training for public safety dispatch personnel should be phased into the regulation to provide agencies and jurisdictions opportunity to plan for the inclusion of in-service/on-going training into schedules, budgets, and processes.
To summarize, writing on behalf of the Virginia APCO ProCHRT Committee, the inclusion of in-service/on-going training for public safety dispatch personnel in Virginia is essential and would provide opportunity to revise and ultimately improve the current DCJS standards for the Compulsory Minimum Training Standards for Dispatchers.