A Very Big Day for 911 Dispatchers and our Cause to Educate the Public!

A Very Big Step for 911 Dispatchers and this cause… Today, the national media covered perhaps the biggest story for dispatchers ever– a research study co-authored by Dr. Michelle Lilly and Heather Pierce, M.S.– a member of the NENA Working Group on 911 Stress. These researchers’ findings produced evidence supporting  the risks our first first responders face for experiencing serious distress and PTSD at the console. Their study confirms and extends the findings of Roberta Troxell’s 2008 study and supports comments offered by Jim Marshall, 911 Wellness Foundation Chairman, to the FCC in the matter of NG911 (see elsewhere on this blog).

This is a very significant advance for the Foundation’s cause of substantiating these 911 risks and educating the public and all 911 stakeholders to support the mental health of our nation’s emergency telecommunicators. We congratulate these  researchers and express our gratitude for their investment of time and effort to help reveal a challenge facing one of our country’s most critically important yet underestimated public service professions. We invite you to read this ABC news article and return here to share you comments. As the Foundation moves forward we are heartened by this news and hope you will also be moved to join us in our work. (See tab “Our Mission” to learn more.) JM

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5 Responses to A Very Big Day for 911 Dispatchers and our Cause to Educate the Public!

  1. Tia says:

    We often underestimate our public service professions and don’t take into consideration how many different types of stresses they encounter daily. Also, how much this job can take a toll on them mentally and physically. It’s a really good thing that finally someone is looking deeper into finding positve ways to help telecommunicators cope with all the stress so they don’t burn-out.

  2. Brittney says:

    I am just now finishing up a 911 telecommunications class, and I have to say, the stress that dispatchers and call-takers go through is just mind-boggling. The respect I have for those who work in this field has greatly increased as I am now aware of just how many things they do for public. I think it’s great that there are those who are looking to help out our local heroes…we’re all in this together and we must take care of one another.

    • 911wellness says:

      Hello Brittney: thanks much to you (and to Tia below) for your comment here. You have helped to emphasize a key point of the Foundation–not that our 911 Professionals are fragile but simply human; and while very resilient as a whole we need to strategically boost their resilience based upon accurate assessment of the risks they face at the console. Researchers at University of Washington and Northern Illinois University are leading in this effort by conducting two independent studies. And fortunately, throughout the country leaders in the industry are very supportive of such efforts and are taking steps to advance the well-being of their personnel. (More on this coming in the next couple days as a feature article on this blog.) So thanks again, Brittney and Tia for doing your parts and taking time to support the 911 Wellness Foundation!

  3. Christina says:

    It is so wonderful to know that the media is working to promote education for citizens regarding the work and stress that 911 professionals face every day. It is my experience that the media tends to focus too much on exploiting the negative things that can happen when a call goes wrong rather than taking time to recognize all of the lives that are being helped and the positive things 911 professionals do on a daily basis. I am currently a student working on a Criminal Justice degree. Until I began my classes I had absolutely no idea of the extent of energy and emotion 911 professionals exhaust on one call let alone during a full shift. I commend each and every 911 professional for their service, dedication and hard work. Thank you!

    • 911wellness says:

      Thanks to you too, Christina. See my note above to John. This connection between you folks at Baker in Criminal Justice AND our 911 profession is a vital one. Your recognition of these incredible 911Pros is encouraging and crucial!

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