Monday, January 19, 2009

High Employee Turnover, Low Pay and Limited Training

The title is from a description of 911 centers. Improved Training Resisted for 911 Calls | | The Ledger | Lakeland, FL A story about Florida. Most states do require certification for 911 dispatchers. Florida does not.

OJT would be fine, if distracting veteran employees and later rookie mistakes didn't cause life-and-death problems.
Like many Florida 911 centers, Bradenton trains employees on the job. After 14 weeks, employees are expected to work solo. Within a year, nearly three of four have left - overwhelmed or simply unsuited for a job handling nightmare scenarios at $26,166 a year.

Bradenton is emblematic of the vast majority of Florida's 911 centers, which are plagued with high employee turnover, low pay and limited training.
Budget for training? And give up the budget from where?

Next time you go visit The Mouse, consider what happens if you need help from 911.
Low pay and low standards place emergency call-taking among the most menial of jobs. Many 911 workers come straight from low-skill jobs at retail stores and fast-food chains and within a few weeks are coordinating help for heart attacks, house fires and shootings.
If you want to read a litany of mishandled calls, untrained dispatchers, and other why training is resisted by the people in charge, take a look.

Calling 911 is a fine thing, if it works. It doesn't always work the way it should. Excuse me if I don't want to put all of my money on a bad bet.

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