I have found that the most difficult part of trainnig civilians as dispatchers is the fireground terminology. All of the little things that we as firefighters say 50 different ways but all understand. There is just no way of listing or defining all of these things so that the civilian dispatcher listening to the fireground communications instantly understands what is happening and what the IC is asking for or will need next. I have been searching for a few years now on a way to teach this, but have not found a good way yet. It doesn't help that our County has little to no standard definitions of anything.
I'm not knocking the civilian dispatchers, just trying to deal with them hearing the same words, but not hearing the same thing that I do.
Adam, you are correct that is very challenging, we do have our own English!
What I have seen work is designing an in house glossary section that is added into the effective communication training section/module. If you are teaching in-house it will be a little time consuming to prepare but have valuable pay off. If you are teaching outside your agency it will be more difficult.
What you need is audio recordings of actual incidents that your center has dealt with. Go through the audio with someone not in the communications or fire service and have them say "what's that mean?” (If you listen with someone in the business many things will be missed.) Every word or phrases that you need to explain to them write down. This will be a start to your glossary of terms for your agency. You will need to listen to audio from many incidents of all types to get a compressive glossary put together. But, once it's done it doesn't take allot of work to keep it updated.
Another good way but also time consuming and can prove to be very difficult for many reasons is capturing AV's from the internet. There are allot of good sources out here that have audio and video that can be captured and placed into a PowerPoint. A word of caution though be sure to look at and review any appropriate copyright laws that might affect anything that is captured.
Please let me know if I can help you out with anything.
Most training programs that are made public are very generalized.....information about vicarious liability and other basics; they don't really teach dispatching. Most law enforcement agencies have internal training programs, as they tend to be department specific.
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