Goal Completed – I am now “Solo”

Well, it’s been a long six months,

but I have reached the point where I can now say:



I have completed the 6-week in-house academy, the two weeks of training at DPSST, and the six months of one-on-one training on the phones. My training review was last Saturday, and I was told that I am now a solo call taker. No more DOR’s! 🙂

Goal Completed!

There is a little bit of apprehension with all this; without the safety net of a trainer, how will I do? I am now responsible for my actions and instructions on the phone. It’s all me, liability-wise. But as my trainer pointed out, fully trained does not equal fully experienced, and no one expects me to be fully experienced at this point. I will have questions and I am allowed to ask them.  I have all the “tools” that I need; it’s just a matter of getting proficient at using all of them.

For now, I am just basking in the congratulations of my co-workers and the sense of accomplishment that I have right now. 🙂

It’s been a long road, and stressful at times.  I did not enjoy some of it, but most of it was very exciting and challenging.  It’s a great feeling to have come to the end of my formal training, and be able to say that I have passed this test.  I am able to take pride in what I have accomplished.  The hard work and long hours have been worth it.

Every day I am learning more about this job, and how to do it better.  Just because my formal training period is over doesn’t mean I will not be learning anything further.  There is something new to be learned every day!  No day is every the same, and each day has it’s own share of questions and challenges.  I am so excited to have this goal completed, and begin my time as a solo call taker/dispatcher!



Answering Phones, DOR’s and all the other “Joys” of Training

Training is in Full Swing!

3 thoughts on “Goal Completed – I am now “Solo”

  1. I’ve been reading your blog and all the fun updates on this journey to becoming a 911 operator. I’ve been thinking of doing a career change. I find my current and secure “office job” a bit boring and find myself missing my old ER department registration days. I though what better and exiciting job than a 911 dispatch operator?! But to be honest, I’m a bit apprehensive about it now that my Criticall exam is around the corner. Could you share why you decided to move on? What was the determining factor that made you switch gears after working so hard to get in. I’ve heard the turnaround rate for dispatch is pretty high, would you have any insights on why, maybe? I’m afraid of making such a career change, and would like to hear your personal opinions. It sounds like an exciting, fast paced job, but what are the downsides? I appreciate your blog, so much to think about.

    1. I would advise you to go for it! I loved working as a call taker/dispatcher. It is a highly rewarding career, and I would love to still be doing it. It was not my choice to end my career as a 911 call taker – I was “let go” for no reason after working there for a year. They literally could not give me a reason, other than “you are still within your 18 month trial-service period so we don’t need a reason to let you go.” It wasn’t a performance issue; that I am sure of, because I have been told that by friends who are still dispatchers there. My best understanding of the reason is that I was a victim of poor management and administration. But that shouldn’t deter you from becoming a dispatcher! That is simply the unfortunate situation at the call center where I worked.
      Being a call taker/dispatcher is very demanding. It can be very stressful, and folks need to know that going in. You will hear things over the phone and radio that most people would have a hard time dealing with. Your prior ER department experience will help you with that! I am sure you heard and saw a lot in the ER. 🙂
      The turnaround rate for dispatch is high, and that I think is due to the stressful nature of the job. It can be long hours, and mandated shifts, working holidays and weekends, etc. It is a “first responder” job, so many of the strains are the same as law enforcement or fire service experience. One of the tricky things is that you rarely get closure on your calls. You may never know what happened after law enforcement arrive at the scene; did the gunshot victim survive after EMS got there? Were they able to save the 2 year old that fell in the pool, where you coached her parents through CPR until help arrived? Some people deal with that better than others. The trick (I think) is to realize that you have done the best you can to help someone over the phone, get them the help they need as quickly as possible, and then “hand it off” when LEO/Fire/EMS arrives on scene. Then you go on to the next call, and help someone else. I think my faith helped me with that – I was able to say a quick prayer for those involved, and place them in God’s hands, then move on. I had done what I could. And I left work each day knowing in my heart that I had helped someone that day. There was at least one person for whom I had made a difference, and I had been there when they needed help.
      I hope this helps. You can feel free to email me directly, if you want, and we can communicate further. My email is joan@jrrmblog.com 🙂

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