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Press Release: Regional Telecommunicator Academy Graduates Class #014

Press Release: Regional Telecommunicator Academy Graduates Class #014

ARLINGTON, Texas, February 21, 2023 — The North Central Texas Emergency Communications District (NCT9-1-1) graduated 17 9-1-1 telecommunicators from its Regional Telecommunicator Academy (RTA) Class #014 on February 17th in Arlington. This class includes recruits from 11 different agencies, including Collin Co SO, Terrell PD, Irving PD, Rockwall Co SO, Ellis Co SO, Wise Co SO, Seagoville PD, Greenville PD, Hutchins PD, North Richland Hills PD, and Mineral Wells PD.


The graduating recruits have completed a rigorous four-week program that teaches equipment use, state mandates and regulations, how to handle emergency communications situations such as active shootings, and more. Texas is the only state in the country that requires its 9-1-1 telecommunicators to be licensed alongside peace officers and jailers, and NCT9-1-1 hosts the only 9-1-1 telecommunicator academy in the state. The district welcomes recruits from outside its region to participate and this year includes participants from Irving PD.


“At the academy, we’re not just training people to fill positions,” said NCT9-1-1 Training Coordinator Bret Batchelor. “We’re building a community of resiliency and comradery with our recruits. I want them to walk away with the skills to not only be successful at their new jobs, but to build a lifelong career as a 9-1-1 telecommunicator and to one day pass on their experiences to the next generation of dispatchers.”


The program has graduated recruits from all over Texas and Arkansas since its inception in February of 2016 and continues to grow with classes held twice a year in the winter and summer.


About the North Central Texas Emergency Communications District

The North Central Texas Emergency Communications District (NCT9-1-1) is responsible for 40 plus Emergency Communication Centers (ECCs) in the 13 counties surrounding the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex. The district supports these ECCs through maintaining and upgrading 9-1-1 equipment, providing up-to-date mapping information, training 9-1-1 telecommunicators, educating the public on the proper use of 9-1-1, and monitoring ECC functionality and compliances. NCT9-1-1 serves a population of 1.7 million and 10,000+ square miles.

Health and Wellness apps – What they mean to 9-1-1

Health and Wellness apps – What they mean to 9-1-1

Written By: Destanie Ontiveros, NCT9-1-1 Communications Coordinator

As we continue to recover from a world pandemic, it has become apparent of how important our health and wellness is. That being said, let’s talk about how health and wellness apps help connect people to 9-1-1. Companies like Apple and Google who offer health and wellness apps have implemented emergency services into those apps. So, what does this mean for 9-1-1 services? How does this affect 9-1-1 telecommunicators who are answering these emergency calls?


Apple’s in house health app implements 9-1-1 services through Emergency SOS, Fall Detection, and Medical ID. When these applications detect any emergency, the Apple device will call 9-1-1 and automatically send saved medical information to 9-1-1. Google also offers a form of emergency assistance that is integrated into their technology. On Android devices, you can access health information via Google Fit on the lock screen whether the device is locked or not.


As far as emergency services are concerned, the more tangible information, the better. If you need emergency assistance, but are not able to call, talk, or text 9-1-1 your emergency or basic information, the information being automatically provided by these health and wellness apps help serve that purpose. The more information the 9-1-1 telecommunicator knows about the person calling, the better they are able to assist them in their emergency.


In regard to the 9-1-1 telecommunicators, having this information sent automatically saves time, especially when every second counts. As 9-1-1 telecommunicators are navigating between channels of communication and dispatching first responders to the emergency, they are able to cut down the response time.


Technology has come a long way. With new innovative technology, some health and wellness apps allow people to directly contact 9-1-1 without having to call or text 9-1-1. Utilizing these health and wellness apps can help 9-1-1 better assist the 9-1-1 caller. Important health information being shared to 9-1-1 helps both the 9-1-1 caller and 9-1-1 telecommunicators by cutting down response time. As early adopters, NCT9-1-1 looks forward to seeing how technology continues to evolve and aid in 9-1-1 services.



What3words and 9-1-1

What3words and 9-1-1

Written By Destanie Ontiveros, NCT9-1-1 Communication Coordinator

What is what3words? How is it useful when calling 9-1-1? How is it useful to 9-1-1 telecommunicators? Emergency Communications Centers (ECCs) within the North Central Texas Emergency Communications District (NCT9-1-1) service area have the capability of using what3words to locate incidents faster. What3words has given every 10 feet square in the world a unique identifier made of three words, making the location of any incident easy to describe and share.

What3words is a digital geocoding system with a goal to create a location system made for the modern world. What3words has divided the entire globe into squares that are three by three meters or 10 by 10 feet with every square assigned a unique name made up of three random words. All word sequences and their precise location on the map are stored on the what3words servers. Users can immediately access any of them by typing either the three words of their location or the traditional address into the what3words map. To share a what3words location, all users need to do is give someone their three-word location via phone call or text. With this modern day solution, users are able to pinpoint an exact location rather than approximate location.

Some may think, why aren’t addresses good enough? What about coordinates? The answer is simple; while addresses might provide an approximate location, they do not provide an exact location. Coordinates are still very accurate, but three words is easier to identify, remember, manage, and communicate than traditional coordinates. The difference between an exact location and approximate location is the meter or feet in your location. An approximate location can be anywhere within 100 feet of someone’s location whereas an exact location is determined by the 10 feet surrounding the user. What3words was created to find the exact location versus the approximate location.

When it comes to receiving 9-1-1 emergency assistance, the difference between an exact and approximate location means everything. That being said, street addresses do not always point to the right location or entrance. Not to mention, many places do not have an address like parks, forests, or waterways. While streets, buildings, and monuments can give away the general location, they cannot provide the exact location. Also, traditional addresses are not useful in open areas like public squares and parks or rural areas with little to no signage or official mapping.

Now that we know what what3words is, let’s talk about how it’s aiding in the 9-1-1 caller experience and 9-1-1 telecommunicators. Because what3words can identify an exact location at a faster rate, it helps 9-1-1 telecommunicators send first responders to exact locations so they can reach the incident faster. As a 9-1-1 caller, what3words can better assist in knowing their exact location rather than their approximate location.

The what3words app is available for free in both Apple and Android devices and can be downloaded by clicking here. To access and use what3words, follow these three steps:

  1. Download the free what3words app.
  2. When you are at the location of the incident, open the app and tap the arrow icon (iOS) or compass (Android) for your current location.
  3. When you need to call 9-1-1, advise the 9-1-1 telecommunicator that you can provide what3words information and read the 3 words displayed at the top of the app screen.

What3words addresses are precise to a 10ft square, so 9-1-1 telecommunicators can deliver faster, more efficient emergency services. The what3words app helps pinpoint the exact location of incidents even faster, saving both time and resources when it matters most. What3words allows for your exact location to be more accessible. This geodata solution is very resourceful in any location whether it be a rural location with no address or a busy urban location with a building with six floors.

Preparing for Inclement Weather in Texas

Preparing for Inclement Weather in Texas

Written By Destanie Ontiveros, NCT9-1-1 Communication Coordinator

As the weather continues to change here in Texas, here are some inclement weather preparedness tips to help keep you safe. We all know this crazy Texas weather cannot seem to make its mind up. One week we are enjoying pleasant 70-degree temperatures and the next week we are dropping down to the cold 30’s. In any case, here are some tips to help prepare you for the inclement weather to come. Everyone should consider winterizing your homes, keep flashlights and fresh batteries, updating first aid kits, keeping your animals safe, and driving safely in the ice and snow.

It is important to ensure your home is ready for inclement weather. Some proactive steps you can take include insulating exposed pipes, insulating the attic (if you have one), caulk and weather strip all doors and windows, and gather supplies. Insulating your attic and caulking or placing weather strips to doors and windows will keep the heat inside your house. Insulating exposed pipes and keeping faucets dripping will ensure your pipes do not freeze and or bust.

Inclement Weather Preparedness Blog

Infographic 1: Winterize Your Home ( 2022)


For supplies, it is important to have flashlights, batteries, and at least one first aid kit in case of an emergencies. Keeping these items on hand is crucial in the event of an emergency and is recommended by the National Weather Service. In the event of a power outage, you will want to have flashlights and batteries. Now, let’s talk about pets!


People often forget that inclement weather can be harmful to pets. Please remember to keep your animals safe and warm during inclement weather by bringing them into a safe and warm space. Prepare your pets for inclement weather by storing 3-5 days’ worth of food, ensuring you have leashes and collars on hand, and a first aid kit for them.

Infographic 2: Winter Pets ( 2022)


No one likes driving in inclement weather, however, sometimes we need to get essential items. Here are some tips to drive in ice and snow. To ensure you have the best view from inside the vehicle, clean off your car before you take off to ensure you have the best view from inside your vehicle. Warm up your vehicle before leaving to help defrost the inside and outside of your windshield. When driving in snow or ice, it is important to keep a safe distance between you and other vehicles on the road. Keep in mind that it is harder to come to a complete stop on ice or snow. Lastly, drive at a slower mile per hour than usual and do not use the cruise control. When it comes to driving in snowy or icy conditions, you want to do everything you can to stay in control of your vehicle.

Infographic 3: Ice-n-Snow (

Remember to winterize your homes, keep flashlights and batteries, keep an updated first aid kit, do not forget about your pets, and drive safely in the ice and snow. Please take these inclement weather tips into consideration should we experience any more unexpected weather in the great state of Texas.