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911 Board releases $2.2 million for dispatcher training

 

Tennessee Department of Commerce and InsuranceNashville, TN –The Tennessee Emergency Communications Board (TECB) has made $2.2 million in funding available to local Emergency Communications Districts for dispatcher training.

 “We’ve set uniform standards because we want to do all we can to improve the effectiveness of 911,” said TECB Executive Director Lynn Questell. “We know many districts exceed these standards and provide additional training and support to their dispatchers. We certainly want to provide the local 911 districts with the needed funds to for this training.” 

“We’re pleased we can provide these funds,” Questell said. “Not every state has minimum requirements. And among those that do, not every state provides funding for the training. Tennessee continues to be a national leader in 911.”

TECB requires that all dispatchers to have 40 hours of supervised, on-the-job training and 40 hours of public safety communications coursework within the first six months of employment. Additionally, dispatchers must participate in regular continuing education.

The training standards in Tennessee are modeled after the Association of Public Safety Communications Officials (APCO) standards. The dispatcher training funds are available on an annual basis.

“Our Board has set solid standards for the training of 911 dispatchers,” said TECB Chair Randy Porter. “We want to be sure the districts have the funds they need to train those dispatchers. Uniform training of dispatchers results in improved response to emergencies.”

The TECB was created by the General Assembly in 1998 to assist ECDs’ boards of directors in management, operations and accountability, with the goal of establishing reliable emergency communications for all citizens of the state. It’s a successful formula; in 2005, Tennessee became the third state in the nation to become Phase II-ready, meaning a 911 operator can obtain a wireless caller’s number and location information. In 2005, Tennessee received an award from the Congressional E911 Institute for having the nation’s best state system.

The TECB is administratively attached to the Department of Commerce and Insurance, which works to protect consumers while ensuring fair competition for industries and professionals who do business in Tennessee. www.tn.gov/commerce/


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