911 Board Adds Training Requirements for Missing Children Calls
Friday, February 25, 2011 | 07:20am
NASHVILLE- The Tennessee Emergency Communications Board (TECB) voted at its February meeting to add new training requirements for calls related to missing and exploited children for 911 dispatchers. The Board voted to add five hours of training for all new dispatchers and two hours of continuing education every two years – both specifically focused on handling calls about missing or exploited children.
“A call about a missing child is one of the most critical calls that come into a 911 center,” said TECB Chair Randy Porter. “When these calls are taken, the call-taker should have every available resource to handle it correctly. These new training requirements will ensure that dispatchers in Tennessee are properly trained and prepared to handle these calls.”
Tennessee is one of only four states with specific training requirements for its 911 dispatchers. In addition to requiring training, the TECB provides funding to local districts to pay for the training. Current requirements call for 40 hours of initial training and 8 hours of continuing education every two years. The addition of the training related to missing/exploited children would take that to 45 hours of initial training and 10 hours of continuing education.
The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) provides its training for free. More information on this training and the organization can be found at www.missingkids.org.
The TECB was created by the General Assembly in 1998 to assist ECDs’ boards of directors in the areas of management, operations and accountability, with the goal of establishing reliable emergency communications for all citizens of the state. It’s a successful formula; in 2005, Tennessee became the third state in the nation to become Phase II-ready, meaning a 911 operator can obtain a wireless caller’s number and location information. In 2005, Tennessee received an award from the Congressional E911 Institute for having the nation’s best state system.
The TECB is administratively attached to the Department of Commerce and Insurance, which works to protect consumers while ensuring fair competition for industries and professionals who do business in Tennessee. www.tn.gov/commerce/