Education & Training Resources
Welcome to Education and Training Resources!
Our goal is to provide a forum of resources from which Communicators can draw valuable tools, tips and information in support of job performance objectives and standards. Core competencies (skills specific) will be explored as well as the changing and emerging issues that impact Fire and Emergency Services.
This site will provide readers with monthly submissions on topics such as:
- Receiving and Processing Emergency Calls
- Providing Logistical Support to the Incident
- Maintaining Radio Communication
- Processing Incident Documentation
- Maintaining Emergency Communication Centre Equipment and Facilities
- Maintaining Information Systems
- Performing Public Relations and Public Education Activities
- Performing Non-Emergency & Administrative Duties and Training
- Maintaining Communication Centre Security
- Demonstrating Commitment to Personal and Professional Development
Training Committee Statement of Goals
To provide a forum of resources from which Communicators can draw valuable tools, tips and information in support of job performance objectives and standards. Core competencies (skills specific) will be explored as well as the changing and emerging issues that impact fire and emergency services.
Job Performance Objectives and Standards
- Receive and Process Emergency Calls
- Provide Logistical Support to the Incident
- Maintain Radio Communication
- Process Incident Documentation
- Maintain Emergency Communication Centre Equipment and Facilities
- Maintain Information Systems
- Perform Public Relations and Public Education Activities
- Perform Non-Emergency & Administrative Duties and Training
- Maintain Communication Centre Security
- Demonstrates Commitment to Personal and Professional Development
Long Term Goal – to support and assist with the implementation of the certification process for Communicators in the Ontario Fire Service
- Awaiting NFPA info.....
Level of Commitment :
- Creating submissions - 2 to 3 hrs monthly
Checking website/responding to inquiries – 30 minutes to 1 hour weekly
TOPIC OF THE MONTH
Training Points to Ponder: Receiving and Processing Emergency Calls
What makes your priority list when you look at ongoing training for on receiving and processing emergency calls at your centre?
· Refreshing on Primary call taking skills?
· Review Secondary call taking skills?
· Working with Suppression crews to improve secondary call taking skills to better meet their needs?
· Post-incident review with Communicators or with Suppression?
· New and upcoming technology advancements?
· Customer Service?
Let’s focus on a few of these.
Call Taking Skills
How do your senior Communicators accept ongoing training? Anyone can fall into bad habits, and the longer these habits go on, the more difficult it is turn them around. Regular review of basic skills is a tradition in the Fire Service. And the Communicator’s basic skills are primary and secondary call taking skills. Introducing a regular training activity to reinforce these skills is important, as is getting feedback from your senior Communicators. Are your experienced personnel willing and able to share their experience to benefit the rest of the staff? Give them a way of sharing, like soliciting feedback from training and see how much they cooperate. Perhaps start with interview techniques for different callers (hysterical or resistant caller, or children) and concentrate on the Communicators’ problem-solving skills to find the information needed from them.
Working with Suppression
If your training is provided by your Training Division, your Communicators may receive training alongside Suppression crews. You can take advantage of this by soliciting input from responders to ensure your call taking and questioning practice is meeting their needs. Conversations with Suppression or Training personnel, whether within your department or the external departments you serve, will let you know if you are meeting their needs. Just ask. You may have to dig a little, but the feedback can be invaluable. Ask them what they would want to know while en route to a call. If your Communicators use structured questioning methods, review the process with Suppression and ask if anything is missing from their perspective.
If you handle training within the Communications Centre, keep Suppression’s perspective in mind.
This can be tricky when processing emergency calls. We need to ensure we are gathering the necessary information efficiently and accurately. We need to treat callers with respect and work with them, while still controlling the call and completing the call taking tasks to ensure an appropriate response is sent.
For Further Thought
This list is far from complete, and we’ve only scratched the surface. We hope to have more articles in the coming months that address the points we didn’t cover, like new and emerging technology and post-incident review, as well as topics supplies by you, the reader.
So, what makes your priority list when you look at ongoing training for on receiving and processing emergency calls at your centre?
Emergency Service Communication is unique in structure as it plays a vital role in the provision of imparting information, specifically mandated to:
- Save Lives
- Provide Rescue
- Preserve Nature
- Preserve Property
- Provide Public Safety
Communication is defined as something imparted or transmitted, therefore a Communicator is someone who gives a share of, reveals, and/or makes known their intentions. In order for this to occur a rapport has to be established with the caller, at call onset. It is imperative that the caller recognize they have the attention of a trained professional who will initiate a response to their emergency. Voice quality is essential in this process as being aware of your tone, grammar and vocabulary is not only representative of your communication skills, but that of your Fire Department and the entire Municipality/City for whom you are employed. Creating this rapport will result in caller reassurance and reduced stress levels.
The emergency call taking process requires a learned behavior with the identification of caller profiles by incorporating appropriate communication styles. Taking control of the caller thru structured questioning is essential in preventing excessive information from presiding over the information gathering process.
TIP OF THE MONTH
Confident, Controlled and Competent = Professional, Accountable and Responsible!