Virginia Regulatory Town Hall
Department of Criminal Justice Services
Department of Criminal Justice Services
Rules Relating to Compulsory Minimum Training Standards for Dispatchers [6 VAC 20 ‑ 60]
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2/17/16  9:31 am
Commenter: Jeffrey Flournoy, ESVA 9-1-1 Commission, Virginia APCO ProCHRT Committee

Comments - Review of Rules Related to Compulsory Minimum Training Standards for Dispatchers

The below comments are submitted on behalf of Virginia APCO ProCHRT (Professional Communications Resource Committee), with the consent of the Virginia APCO Executive Board. The composition of this committee includes representatives from eight 9-1-1 Centers’ in our state, both large and small, urban and rural. While overall the regulations and standards included in the DCJS Rules to Compulsory Minimum Training Standards for Dispatchers have served localities and those personnel serving as Public Safety Telecommunicators in dispatch centers adequately in the past, there is opportunity and a need for revision or amendments to both the curriculum and other aspects of the standards.

These opportunities for revision or amendments include, however may not be limited to, the following:

  • A potential approach (whether in place of or in conjunction with the current DCJS curriculum) would be to explore using an ANSI approved training standard as a standard for compulsory minimum training standards for Public Safety Telecommunicators. This would assure the material remains current with the ever increasing technology changes and demands occurring on dispatch floors in our state. An example for potential consideration is the ANSI approved APCO curriculum, Minimum Training Standards for Public Safety Telecommunicators (APCO ANS This standard covers much of the curriculum included in the current DCJS curriculum, as well as numerous other dispatch related training needs not addressed in the current DCJS curriculum used in Virginia.

  • The current DCJS standards lack any requirement or expectation for on-going or in-service training. The reality is those working in dispatch centersanswering 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 APCO curriculum, Minimum Training Standards for Public Safety Telecommunicators includes a requirement for on-going/in-service training.

  • The language in the current DCJS standards does not address dispatch centers and dispatch staff whose duties do not include law enforcement dispatch responsibilities. While it is expected dispatch staff whose primary focus is duties and responsibilities other than law enforcement dispatch do receive needed training, it is not required in the current standard. The standard should address other facets of dispatch floor duties and responsibilities; such as those dispatch centers and their staff whose primary function is the processing of 9-1-1 calls and/or the dispatching of fire and/or emergency medical services.

  • If the DCJS curriculum continues to be used as the standard for compulsory minimum training standards for dispatch staff, and another curriculum is not used that is regularly updated, there needs to be mechanisms to assure the current information/curriculum being used to educate new Public Safety Telecommunicators is as up-to-date and comprehensive as possible. This will provide a higher level of service to those who truly depend of our state’s dispatch centers and those Public Safety Telecommunicatorsserving in these dispatch centers; this includes both the public and those serving in the field, such as law enforcement officers, firefighters, and EMT’s.

To summarize, writing on behalf of the Virginia APCO ProCHRT Committee, as enumerated above there is need and opportunity to revise and ultimately improve the current DCJS standards for the Compulsory Minimum Training Standards for Dispatchers.

CommentID: 49626