Working in dispatch requires responders to be able to trust dispatchers with their lives. Quite a difficult ask when dispatchers are just voices on the other side of the line. Building trust between the agencies working together in the field of public safety and emergency response is critical, and this webinar will provide the how-to to make this happen.
This session’s instructor is Halcyon Frank, a full-time dispatcher and the Founder of Impact Dispatch. Impact Dispatch provides training and support to agencies through online training programs and participation in dispatch-related conferences.
Halcyon shared insights and experiences on these points:
- The key role trust plays when it comes to productivity and efficiency of dispatch and first responder agencies.
- How history, communication, and unreliability affects trust between organizations and the individuals within.
- Guidelines on how to build trust as a dispatcher.
- Being considerate by asking questions to understand goals, taking the respondent’s perspective into account, and always aiming for process improvement in terms of efficiency and congruence.
- Having honest communication – that includes expressing frustrations constructively and utilizing the proper channels when doing so.
- Consistently practicing accountability by showing up ready at work, owning up, acknowledging and addressing mistakes appropriately, and demonstrating one’s dependability.
- Specific practices and beliefs to avoid that inevitably leads to the erosion of trust as showing favoritism, prioritizing building friendships over fostering trust, inability to maintain professionalism, and allowing negative opinions to take over.
- Practical tips to develop professional relationships that build trust between agencies and individuals.
- Ride-alongs with responders to provide first-hand experience and knowledge of the work.
- Attending department functions and mutual aid meetings that allow the understanding of responsibilities, topics and programs, and encourage networking.
Topics raised during the Q&A were on:
- How to effectively get conflict-avoidant individuals involved in an honest conversation.
- Expressing frustrations without coming off as a whiner by proposing suggestions that can address the issues.
- Pointers on how to make ride-alongs an effective method to build trust.
- How to best address specific incidents person-to-person when policy requires escalation to a supervisor.
Resources and Handouts
- “It was good to see that the same problems exist for other agencies. It was a good refresher on some simple ways to help create understanding between divisions.” — David
- “Good reminders for everyday interactions.” — Katie
- “I liked the 3 things to build trust as well as what to avoid tips.” — Paul
- “Very important and relevant information.” — Phyllis