Hickory, KY. (October 16, 2020) – Twelve Kentucky State Police telecommunicators from throughout the Commonwealth were recognized at graduation ceremonies for the sixteenth class of the agency’s in-house Telecommunications Academy.
KSP Commissioner Rodney Brewer told the graduates that the role of a telecommunicator at KSP is one of the most pivotal positions we have. “You are the voice of agency when the public calls in and desperately needs help and that voice will set the stage for whether the situation turns out well or not,” said Brewer. “The best telecommunicators that I have ever worked with in my life are multi-taskers that can take tidbits of intelligence, process it quickly and pass it on for a positive resolve in the end.”
Brewer said the ability to process information quickly is detrimental to the trooper or officer on the other end of the radio.
“What you do in that dispatch room truly saves lives every day and sometimes it is our life that you save.”
Representing nine agency posts, the group began its studies on September 14, 2020 at the KSP Training Academy in Frankfort. The course provided 196 hours of instruction during a five-week period. The curriculum included subjects such as: legal liability, limits of telecommunicator authority, the telecommunicator’s role in public safety, interpersonal communications, customer service, interaction with the news media, stress, ethics and confidentiality, responder safety, basic fire dispatch, state emergency operations plans, criminal justice information systems, cardio pulmonary resuscitation, first aid training, emergency medical dispatch and special needs callers.
To complete the course, the telecommunicators were required to successfully process scripted calls for service and demonstrate proficiency in obtaining pertinent information, dispatching responders, providing emergency medical dispatch if needed and correctly documenting information from the call for service. This training is completed using a computer simulation system to simulate their working environment in the radio room.
Samantha Wilson, of Calloway County, was the Post 1 graduate. She is the daughter of Laura Bricker-Wilson and Richard Wilson and is an alumni of Ben Davis University High School.
According to Jason Long, Law Enforcement Training Instructor at the Kentucky State Police Academy, working in today’s emergency services communications center requires a number of qualities and characteristics that are absolutely imperative including:
- the ability to handle very stressful, challenging conditions
- flexible work schedules
- empathy in dealing with others
- the ability to learn and adapt, especially in areas of technology.
His advice to those who may be considering the field as a career? “You need to think hard about whether you are willing to make the sacrifices you have to make. You have to spend time away from your family. You have to work weekends and holidays. With all the continuing training required, there is a big investment of time and you need to be sure you can make the commitment,” says Jason Long.
“To be honest, it’s not a job for everyone,” he says. “It is stressful and challenging and some people simply can’t deal with the types of calls and deadly incidents that we have to handle.”
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