The Mission-Critical Resource Center

Workforce Optimization: A Smarter Struggle to Resolving 911's Staffing Struggle

In Summary:

  • Staffing struggles have plagued public safety communications for years, and the situation is worsening because of favorable economic conditions that bring an abundance of less-stressful, better paying jobs.

  • Workforce optimization is the concept of taking a more holistic approach to staffing that places equal emphasis on recruitment, hiring, training, and retention.

  • The profile of the ideal telecommunicator is evolving. The next generation telecommunicator will process different skills than they do today.


Several years ago, the National 911 Program released the Recommended Minimum Training Guidelines for the 911 Telecommunicator. The document was intended to ensure that a more consistent standard of care was provided by 911 call-takers and dispatchers to callers requesting emergency services, regardless of their location at the time of the call. A corollary benefit of the guidelines is that they might help reduce the amount of personnel churn that emergency communications centers (ECCs) experience.

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