911 Professionals are considered the true 1st responders as they are the ones to answer the call, gather the information, and send the help needed. They must remain calm under pressure and have the ability to take control of the call in stressful situations as well as gather information.
Historically, many public safety administrators believed all it took to be a dispatcher was the ability to push buttons and talk on the phone, anybody could do it.
Hall County 911 does most of their training in-house however the State of Georgia requires that all Communications Officers be certified through the Georgia Peace Officer Standards and Training Council as a Communications Officer. This training is obtained within 6 months of employment at the Georgia Public Safety Training Center.
Emergency Medical Dispatch
Hall County 911 also does EMD (Emergency Medical Dispatch). Emergency Medical Dispatch education gives the 911 Center employees the tools required to continually access patient information and provide first aid via telephone instructions to the caller. Employees are required to be CPR and EMD certified and maintain their certification every 2 years. This training provides citizens with a 0-minute response before they receive help. Emergency Medical Dispatchers are trained to follow the National Academy of Emergency Medical Dispatch protocols.
These protocols allow the EMD to give the patient the best standard of care, and provide responders with the necessary patient information before they arrive on scene. Whereas in the past a caller had to wait until Emergency Medical Services arrived before patient care was obtained; they now receive instructions on what to do or not to do while EMS is en-route. These calls are followed up by a Quality Assurance program to ensure everyone gets the same level of care and all the National Academy of Emergency Dispatch protocols have been provided.