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Trainer’s Talk

You are not alone in your love of training others for this fantastic work. It's not easy at times and at other times training someone that is 'meant to be' in this career can be very fulfilling. Let's talk about and share ideas, success and challenges that face our 9-1-1 trainers here.

Dump Lousy Trainers

 Sue, you always say to get rid of bad trainers but for years we have been stuck.  THEN our Director retired and we got a new Director.  In discussing this problem with him he said if we have bad trainers then don’t use them.  He said to think outside the box and see if we had Dispatchers who would make enthusiastic, knowledgeable trainers.

Hiring HS Students - OMG Really?

 In reference to an APCO list serve question - anyone hiring these gen xers?

Here Is The Power Point I Promised

 Here you go - Be the ONE to make a difference by becoming the peacemaker.

Roadblocks to Getting There

 Hi Sue—  In one of your older newsletters you talk about Journaling as an activity/outlet for trainees to express themselves. We implemented this in our current Academy of eight new employees being trained as call takers. In order to not ask the same questions, in different terms week after week, can you suggest a list of questions that would make this learning activity beneficial? If you know of agencies that use this activity, can you forward their contact information to me or pass on mine?  Thank you for time and efforts!

She Is Not Going To Make It?


Sue, You reference something in a Newsletter form 2012.  The front page says that Emotional Common Sense  in on page 5 but my newsletter only goes up to page 3.  I attached it so you could see what I have.  What I’m specifically looking for is Focusing, which stated in another article was covered under Emotional Intelligence. 

Ahhhh Technology

 Where Were Google Maps Then?

By Sue Pivetta

That Is Called 'College' Actually

 FROM APCO LIST SERVE:  I am seeking information from any non-union communications centers who utilize contracts with their employees surrounding repayment of training fees should an employee voluntarily separate before a said length of time. In hiring new telecommunicators, we typically certify them in all call taking protocols and provide discipline-specific training in the classroom, all which takes approximately 9 weeks.

eTips Free Text To 9-1-1 Say What???

Hey there. I was reading that maybe 9-1-1 isn't prepared for Text To 9-1-1!  Really!!  Well I was thinking of what to get you all this month as a gift...and this is the last day to celebrate YOU..so this seemed appropriate for our Call Takers & Trainers a searchable TEXTbook - get it - for understanding text msgs.

Any1 Got Anytng?


“For years—for over 10, 15 years—we’ve been talking about next-gen 911. We were looking for other guidance,” said Tom Gross, director of command center solutions with Motorola Solutions and a former law-enforcement officer with Miami-Dade County who supervised 911 centers.

Narrative Learning - Vital

 One of the most difficult things to teach a student is how to write a narrative.  They do not need to learn CAD as much as this skill b/c their CAD will change but the narrative is a skill that is vital.  Read below how putting a short criptic message in CAD can lead to confusion with the responders.  

Denied... Grrrr

 Q.  Currently we have no simulation training, we put people on the floor without any practice but CAD and that's live so it's a pain.  We try to play ring ring but that is getting real old.  Administration is blaming the training for our turnover, the trainers blame the administration for not hiring the right people.  I think  it's because they get no practice and we don't know if they are going to make it until they don't and that is a long time to train someone.

Why Should I?

 I am having a CT training meeting in January and am using your latest email and article for our training.

Do It My Way...No My Way...

 I had a friend, an EMT, mature, smart and should have been able to pass her probation when she got hired.  She didn't!  Know why?  Her narratives and here is what happened.  One trainer said say it in 25 words or less.  Next trainer said write it all out!  Everywhere she turned it was trouble.  Finally she got that reputation..you know the one that is the slippery slope downhill with the gossip in the lunchroom about 'how is she doing'.

Why not college for 911?

Once upon a time, long long ago I was a Comm Center Supervisor/Trainer.  One day my trainee, just hired, sent me over the edge and I went into the Directors office to offer an idea.  "Can we take the training off the floor and have an academy in the training room BEFORE they come to me."  The answer...just guess.  "No."  I don't even remember his objection.  I returned to doing what I was doing getting the same results (there is a word for that).  Are you feeling like a tindog who has no brain (or was that the scarecrow). 

Use Your Experience!

Trainers listen up.  This could be an extra career for you.  But you have to be the one to introduce it to the colleges in your area.  Colleges pay $36 an hour and besides that...it's a blast and you will never have known how wonderful all that drama has shaped you into a knowledgable professional that the students admire!!  Read on....

Don't Love Consistency

I know I know consistency is something we love because...........well because.......because then everyone is trained the same and no one can complain that they got 'special treatment' or didn't have the opportunity to learn like they learn!  Right?  That is good right?  Hmmmm enter the 911 Magazine article on this subject.

It Was Multi Tasking!!!

   Once Upon A Time I believed that as a trainer I could not teach someone “multi-tasking.”  I believed that you were either born with this skill or you weren’t.  I believed this because I had trainees who couldn't talk and type at the same time, which was the least of what they would need to learn in the time we had to work with them. 


Should We Model BAD Calls?

Short answer is NO.....unless.  If I were to teach you how to prepare for the ice capades, would I go out on the ice, fall down, and say "Don't do that!"  No, we wouldn't.  We would go slowly step by step and explain how do skate, insisting the person practice what you have modeled for them.  Long ago I attended a training by Power Phone where the instructor played the worst possible calls to demonstrate what not to do.  We never went over what TO DO or possibly why the Call Taker did what he did.

Never In 30 Years!

Today I heard Donna tell someone on the phone that our Way To Go Suicidal Molester was "The best call I have heard in my 30 plus years on the console!"  Well I nodded from the other room -  for indeed it was the same for me.  Last week I played the call for South Dakota and the week before Texas APCO Regional.  When the call ended there was silence until someone said, "Wow!"  Wow indeed.

Training For the Three Ring Circus!

Training For The 3 Ring Circus
By Sue Pivetta
Article published
NENA Emergency Communications Professional
April 2010

Trainer Burnout?

Hi Sue,
I am currently training a new employee and have trainer burnout.  Do you have some advice? Anonymous
Is the burnout from training too often or putting too much into training and not enough reward?  If you are training non stop without a break obvoiusly you need to say NO the next time -regardless of the

Inquiring Minds Want To Know


Sue, If you had to sum up your own training philosophy, what would it be? At
what level of commitment should trainers be expected to uphold? Is it
necessary for trainers to maintain a highly competent evaluation? Inquiring minds
want to know. Thanks for all of your wisdom.


Train Derailments - I am NOT ready.

Yikes. Today I updated the Hazmat Power Point listed on the web for download.  I came across several case studies of the after effects and 9-1-1 calls from several train derailments.  Amazing is all I can say.  And not only for the training but for life.  I have trains not two blocks from my home, my daughter's home - these desperate callers  could have been us. The 9-1-1 Call Takers could have been you.  Am I ready?  Are you ready? 

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