Local Public Safety Telecommunicators Head for Training

Natty 911


The Natchitoches Parish 9-1-1 Communications District extends sincere thanks and appreciation during National Telecommunicator Week to each of our public safety call takers, dispatchers, and supervisors for helping to keep our parish safe.

Training, training, training … it’s the key to staying abreast of the latest in technology and operational awareness for our “first” first responders. April 15-21 will find four members of our local 9-1-1 public safety call taker/dispatcher teams in Marksville, where they will attend the annual Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials (APCO) and National Emergency Number Association statewide training symposium. As part of this event, two members of the Natchitoches Police Department (NPD) dispatch center and two members of the Natchitoches Parish Sheriff’s Office (NPSO) dispatch center will attend two training classes. LaQuita Collins (NPSO) and Sybil Holland (NPD) will attend the APCO 40-hour Communications Supervisor Course, which is designed for prospective, newly appointed, or experienced communications supervisors who want to enhance their supervisory skills and knowledge. Topics covered in the 40-hour course are: the role of the supervisor in a public safety communications center, liability issues facing supervisors and how to guard against them, the importance of policies, procedures and directives, communications skills, self-assessment skills, and how to properly evaluate employee job performance and motivate employees to do their best.

In the aftermath of both man-made and natural disasters, public safety communications centers face tremendous challenges. One of the greatest challenges is maintaining adequate staffing levels. To help address this problem, APCO International and NENA joined hands to develop the Telecommunicator Emergency Response Taskforce (TERT). TERT involves a comprehensive program that establishes predetermined trained teams of individuals (public safety call takers, dispatchers, and supervisors) who can mobilize quickly and assist communications centers in neighboring jurisdictions during disasters. Communications Officer Kimberly Green (NPSO) and Communications Officer Juankeitha Jones (NPD) will attend TERT training while at the symposium this year in Marksville.

Sponsorship of these four individuals at the annual Louisiana APCO Training Symposium is provided by the Natchitoches Parish 9-1-1 Communications District in cooperation with the Natchitoches Parish Sheriff’s Office and the City of Natchitoches Police Department.