As the new normal of our world is established, the 9-1-1 professionals and trainers in Texas have to start thinking about what we want our industry to grow into. Things are changing whether we want them to or not, but we can define how it changes by what we teach our 9-1-1 telecommunicators.
At the North Central Texas Emergency Communications District, we believe the future of 9-1-1 training goes beyond teaching the necessities. It even goes beyond understanding Next Generation 9-1-1, though we can’t ignore how NG continues to affect our world. We believe the next generation of 9-1-1 telecommunicators must be trained beyond the TCOLE-required skill sets. They also need 9-1-1 training courses that teach a passion for this career and the resilience to excel at it.
Can resilience be taught?
Can the skills we think 9-1-1 telecommunicators need be taught? Some may think resilience is a lesson you learn from experience, and that you will pick it up as a veteran after long nights and hours of difficult calls. It’s a right of passage to many, but this way of thinking won’t build better 9-1-1 telecommunicators.
It’s important that 9-1-1 trainers encourage the teaching of resilience as a skill that new telecommunicators can learn. This mindset is the future of 9-1-1 training in Texas. This means trainers and veterans have to encourage this idea.
Soft skills aren’t traditionally seen as valuable sometimes, but in this line of work knowing how to take a difficult call and bounce back to do it again the next day is just as important as being a diligent dispatcher.
What builds resilience?
Resilience is a muscle that must be exercised to stay strong. Here is our list of the top five ways to build resilience.
- Normalize Mental Health
Mental health is no longer seen as a dirty word in the 9-1-1 industry, but that’s not true everywhere. Recognizing the importance of mental well-being is the first step to maintaining a positive outlook that will allow resilience to build over time.
- Fight for Positivity
A healthy mental state is rarely something we have all of the time. It’s easy to be positive when things are going right, but staying upbeat when things are difficult shows true resilience.
- Practice Adaptability
This is not something people are born with. Just like any new skill, it must be practiced and repeated to build strength. Adaptability is a key aspect of resilience, but it will take time to make it a habit that can be relied on.
- Lean On Peers
It’s too difficult to build new skills on you own, especially when you’re struggling to establish a healthy routine that allows you to build on your own mental well being. Trust your peers to support you when dealing with difficult work situations.
- Be Kind to Yourself
The most important part of achieving any new life skill is having patience and kindness for yourself. This is especially true for 9-1-1 telecommunicators who are training to join this challenging but rewarding career. Remember to forgive and learn from your mistakes, to take time for your own mental well-being, and to show yourself kindness.
Our new program, Comprehensive Next Generation Training, focuses on building well-rounded, resilient 9-1-1 telecommunicators that have all of their state requirements and more for our region and Texas. Sign up for our training newsletter to receive information on future 9-1-1 training courses and review our current course schedule here.