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Virginia Regulatory Town Hall
Department of Criminal Justice Services
Criminal Justice Services Board
Rules Relating to Compulsory Minimum Training Standards for Dispatchers [6 VAC 20 ‑ 60]
Action Comprehensive Review of Dispatch Regulations
Comment Period Ends 7/27/2016
All comments for this forum
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7/14/16  5:38 pm
Commenter: Richard Moylan

Mandated CEU hours

As a shift supervisor ai would like to see mandated CEU hours. Thank you.

7/22/16  1:18 pm
Commenter: Joell Kight / Fauquier County Sheriff's Office

Rules Relating to Compulsory Minimum Training Standards for Dispatchers [6 VAC 20 ? 60]

As a PSAP manager and a trainer, I support the development of CEUs for communications personnel.  It is vital that we not only provide our communications professionals with initial training, but on going.  The field of public safety alone is ever changing add in the fast pace growth of technology. 

7/26/16  7:44 am
Commenter: John Korman, DPSC

Two Changes
  • Any dispatcher having previously and successfully completed the compulsory minimum training standards who resigns and is reappointed within 24 months from departure will not be required to complete the academy training class -- Change to 12 months. With the job itself rapidly changing, an individual removed from an agency for one year is subject to missing critical job updates or newly implemented critical job tasks.
  • Mandated in-service training shall be conducted in no less than two-hour sessions and must be under the authority of a certified training academy and meet all requirements for conducting mandated training. -- Field personnel have in-service training lasting a minimum of 8 hours (one day). Dispatch in-service training should be the same to ensure sufficient time is allowed for each topic instructued and avoid feeling compelled to rush through performance objectives.


7/26/16  10:56 am
Commenter: Jeffrey Flournoy - Virginia APCO ProCHRT/Eastern Shore of Virginia 9-1-1

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.


7/26/16  9:41 pm
Commenter: John Chiaramonte, PMP, ENP / Sr. Program Leader / Mission Critical Partners

Recommended Minimum Training Guidelines for Telecommunicators

The Recommended Minimum Training Guidelines for Telecommunicators Project is the result of a 9-1-1 community-wide effort that ensued over a three-year period. The goal was to identify nationally recognized, universally accepted, minimum topics that can be used to train aspiring and current 9-1-1 telecommunicators—call-takers and dispatchers—and which provide the foundation for their ongoing professional development.

The effort was driven by the belief that it is vital Americans receive a consistent level of 9-1-1 service no matter where they live or where they travel. Consequently, there must be agreed-upon common elements that ensure the person who answers a 9-1-1 call has met baseline core competencies, and that the public will receive consistency of expertise and professionalism when communicating with a public safety answering point (PSAP), or other emergency services provider.

A parallel goal of the Project was to develop Model Legislation for any state that does not currently have legislation concerning minimum training for telecommunicators. For those that do, the Model Legislation is intended as a baseline to ensure that the recommended minimum training topics are being covered.

Representatives of the following organizations, aka the Working Group, participated in the Project:

  • Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials (APCO)
  • Connecticut Department of Emergency Services & Public Protection
  • Denise Amber Lee Foundation
  • Fairfax County (Virginia) Department of Public Safety
  • Greater Harris County 9-1-1 Emergency Network
  • Hamilton County (Indiana) Public Safety Communications
  • International Academies of Emergency Dispatch (IAED)
  • National Association of State 9-1-1 Administrators (NASNA)
  • National Emergency Number Association (NENA)
  • National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)
  • North Central Texas Council of Governments (NCTCOG)
  • PowerPhone
  • Priority Dispatch
  • RedSky Technologies
  • Rochester/Monroe County (New York) Emergency Communications Department
  • Stafford County (Virginia) Sheriff’s Office
  • Vail (Colorado) Public Safety Communications Center
  • Weakley County (Tenn.) Emergency 9-1-1

The Guidelines identify the recommended minimum topics to be included in any telecommunicator training program. These topics were identified by the Working Group, with input from other key stakeholders representing the 9-1-1 community. The topics are as follows:

  • Telecommunicator roles and responsibilities
  • 9-1-1 call processing
  • Radio communications
  • Emergency management
  • Emergency communications technology
  • Legal concepts
  • Interpersonal communications
  • Stress management
  • Quality assurance
  • On-the-job training guidelines

In addition, numerous subtopics were identified for each topic listed above. It should be noted that the topics identified in the Guidelines provide minimum-level understanding. In order to field and manage emergency calls in a live environment, telecommunicators must receive supplemental training that will enable them to process the discipline-specific emergency calls that are fielded by their respective PSAP/9-1-1 Center or Emergency Services Provider.

As DCJS considers regulations affecting the rules relating to Compulsory Minimum Training Standards for Dispatchers (6 VAC 20-60), consideration should be made to review and include the recommended minimum training guidelines for telecommunications in your rulemaking process.

Additional details and resources are available for download at:

7/27/16  9:37 am
Commenter: Doug Campbell, Deputy Director, Alexandria Emergency Communications/911

Importance of In-Service Training

911 call taking and dispatching is a dynamic profession that is subject to rapid changes in the Public Safety field, hence the need for in-service training programs for all call takers and dispatchers. Newly employed call takers and dispatchers as well as lateral transfers require initial training in order to update them regarding the latest developments in 911 field.  Becuase of constant changes in technology, incident handling and deployment, it is imperative that all dispatch personnel and call takers receive annual in-service training to be better prepared handling incidents and providing safety in the field.   

7/27/16  1:32 pm
Commenter: Nicola Tidey- President VA APCO

Comments on CEU's DCJS Rules Relating to Compulsory Minimum Training Standards for Dispatchers


Virginia APCO is advocating for required training hours that are both reasonable in number and achievable by small and large agencies and departments alike. In-service training should be offered and allowed by sanctioned satellite DCJS Academies, as well as available online, thus meeting the professional need while limiting travel and cost, though some justified cost is always part of a new undertaking.


Virginia APCO is advocating that Public Safety Communications Officers receive no less than 16 hours of Continuing Education Hours (In-service) in a 24 month period.  At least 2 hours should be specific to legal training and 2 hours should focus on cultural diversity. 


The knowledge of this industry is ever-changing to keep up with technology and community requirements. The applications used and protocols applied as a result are constantly challenging the professional to keep up to support the public safety response.


New and current technologies are changing the face of public safety communications and will challenge telecommunicators to think and operate in new and complex ways to synthesize and manage multiple streams of incoming and outgoing information.


Whether a new dispatcher or a seasoned professional, complacency can create the worst outcomes. Refreshing the basics is as critical in this profession as any other within public safety. 


Complacency has proven to have devastating consequences, many of which make the front page of the national news.


In-service/ongoing training can be completed in-house, thereby minimizing the cost to the agency. Reduced travel keeps telecommunicators in their home agencies and ready to work.


The APCO ANSI standard requires continuing education, most of which is not cost prohibitive (e.g. read professional publications, utilize developed review articles with associated quizzes, reviewing in-house policies, procedures, and protocols, etc.)



7/27/16  1:36 pm
Commenter: Nicola Tidey-Director, Orange County Emergency Communications Center

Comments on CEU's DCJS Rules Relating to Compulsory Minimum Training Standards for Dispatchers

Orange County E911 supports the comments submitted by the others to date.   RRCJA's local accademy should be a model to show how succesful online training program can be utilized. 

Orange County suports that Communication Officers receive no less than 16 hours of Continuing Education Hours (In-service) in a 24 month period.  4 hours should be specific to legal training and 2 hours should focus on cultural diversity. 




7/27/16  3:24 pm
Commenter: Melissa D. Foster, Lynchburg Department of Emergency Services

Rules Relating to Compulsory Minimum Training Standards for Dispatchers

The Lynchburg Department of Emergency Services is in support of those recommendations made by APCO.  The world of public safety communications is ever changing and it is imperative that our employees be provided with relevant training and education. This will allow them to provide the best services possible to the citizens and visitors of the Commonwealth. 

7/27/16  3:42 pm
Commenter: Jeff Johnson, County of Bedford, Department of E-911 Communications

Rules Relating to Compulsory Minimum Training Standards for Dispatchers

Bedford County E-911 Communications also supports the recommendations made by APCO.

7/27/16  5:15 pm
Commenter: Tom Hanson, Charlottesville-UVA-Albemarle County ECC

Rules Relating to Compulsary Minimum Training Standards for Public Safety Communications Officers

We are writing in support of the recommendations made by the Virginia Chapter of APCO. It is important in this ever changing profession that in-service hours be included as part of the overall training requirements for out Emergency Communications Officers.