My academy days are officially behind me! Tomorrow night, I start call receiver training, which means taking 911 calls for 10 hours a day and going over each one with my trainer. This means I’m moving on to Phase II of my training process.
It’s been one hell of a foundation, too. We took calls for 6 hours this week, with our CTO right next to us. Sometimes they let us roll with it or if we got off track or had deer-in-the-headlights looks, they’d start guiding us. The nice thing was the liability was all on them, so we knew we couldn’t screw anything up too bad. The same will be true in Phase II, but once that’s over, each call will be on us and each day will require us to step up more and more with our process, precision, and speed.
At some point during Phase II, we’ll get signed off to take non-emergency calls on our own, but nobody likes those. Technically, they can be for anything but they’re usually for police and they’re often long. We want to process them as quickly as we can, though because while they can wait on hold, after 15 minutes they get dropped back in the queue and start ringing again. Non-emergency calls are often quite difficult, too. Requires more work, more digging, and more documentation.
Part of the job.
I also noticed that the call receivers who finished ahead of us (they started in January and have recently just been released to take calls on their own) are talking to us now. When we were just in academy, there wasn’t a lot of social interaction, but as soon as we took our first calls, they were there to talk.
How was your first call? I saw you got a medic call, what was that about? Nice job on that disturbance call!
I’ve been waiting for this because I knew as academy rookies, there wasn’t any place for us out there, not really. Now, though, we’ve braved the screams of the mental/emotional callers, helped the panicked through their emergencies, and gotten aid or police started with calmness and aplomb. Now we’ve earned the right to chit-chat.
HOWEVER, the dispatchers, who are fully trained on calls and both radios, still act a tiny bit aloof. The people training on radios are more receptive, but we’ve got to earn our stripes. It’s cool. My job is not to go make tons of friends. My job is to learn the WATERFALL of data we need to cram into our head through all four phases of training. As long as I manage that without being a diva or a show-off, I should be okay.
Academy is over (yay!) but our CTO’s parting words were, “You’ll learn more next week than you’ve learned in the past ten weeks.”
I believe it.