Being an emergency dispatcher, we are surrounded by stories. Some are incredible. Some are touching and heartfelt and some that strike home or that will hold onto your heart/mind. As a dispatcher we are here to put ourselves in the shoes of a caller reporting an emergency or even just an anonymous tip. First and
Being an emergency dispatcher, we are surrounded by stories. Some are incredible. Some are touching and heartfelt and some that strike home or that will hold onto your heart/mind.
As a dispatcher we are here to put ourselves in the shoes of a caller reporting an emergency or even just an anonymous tip.
First and foremost, steps when receiving an emergency call:
- Take note of not only their words, but how they are speaking. Are they having difficulty speaking English? Might it be time to bring in assistance from a bilingual Dispatcher?
- *Does the caller sound rushed?
- *Do they sound angry or frustrated?
- *Is there panic in their words?
- *Take deep breaths and do your best to remain calm. If you’re calm, your calmness will affect the caller as well.
- *Allow the caller to vent.
- *Take notes of what the caller is telling you.
- *Don’t make assumptions nor attempt to correct the caller.
- *Do your best to get a good perspective of what has caused the caller to place an emergency call.
- After the caller has voiced their concerns, they will be more willing to listen to what you have to say.
- Do your best to communicate honestly and sincerely, asking questions to verify your understanding of the situation.
- If the caller attempts to argue or intimidate, remember to stay calm and listen.
- Understand that the caller was already upset before the call so do not react personally. *Instead, ask what you can do to help further or offer what options you must to resolve the case.
- Use an empathetic and caring tone of voice when communicating with the caller.
- In the caller’s current state, they need to feel as if they are being heard and that their concerns are being handled.
We received a phone call of a zulu speaking lady who needed and ambulance urgently as her grandmother of 84 had collapsed and was unconscious and not moving at all. The caller, being scared and concerned about her grandmother couldn’t speak a word of English.
I asked for the assistance of my colleague SA35 Sindisiwe Mabuya who can speak Zulu and asked if she would please assist me with an emergency caller. I provided guidelines, standing by her side to assist as Sindisiwe isn’t a dispatcher but works in admin & app support by helping our beautiful members set up their Trackbox apps.
From myself SA13 Jamie-Leigh Hartshorne thank you Sindisiwe for the help with another beautiful member in their time of need. Thank you to Netcare 911 who helped dispatch Ladysmith ER24. Another Thank you Goes out to Ladysmith ER24 for prompt service who arrived on scene and stabilized the patient and transported her to hospital.