Did you know that in 2020, over 568,631 911 calls were placed in the State of Maine? That's nearly a 911 call for every 2 people in the state! Handling these 911 calls include 531 specially trained and licensed Maine State Emergency Medical Dispatchers (EMDs). Providing lifesaving information while gathering critical call information, is not an easy task, but every EMD has completed rigorous education and testing. EMD providers complete a 40 hour Emergency Telecommunicator Course, at the Maine Criminal Justice Academy, using curriculum from the International Association of Emergency Dispatchers (IAED). They then complete a 24 hour E911 course, followed by a 24 hour EMD course. To further add to the education, most will complete the Emergency Fire Dispatch (EFD) course, which is another 16 hours. Oh, and they also must maintain a valid CPR certification as well!
What does this mean? The voice on the end of the line has completed over 104 hours of education and a full CPR course before they even begin the orientation and training specific to each of EMD centers in Maine. Every two years, they must also complete 24-36 hours of continuing education to maintain their license. So thank a dispatcher - their commitment, education, and superpowers during emergencies make them true heroes of public safety!
Happy National Public Safety Telecommunicator Week!