Improve Morale & Reduce 9-1-1 Burnout in Emergency Telecommunicators

Learn how public safety software provides critical resources to support telecommunicator well-being at your emergency communications center.

September 16, 2022

Article Highlights

The problem: 9-1-1 burnout and low morale

Every day, 911 telecommunicators field high-stakes calls from distressed community members. Because telecommunicators provide the first line of emergency response, these phone calls are often highly traumatic. The inherently stressful nature of emergency response work, coupled with an understaffed 911 dispatch center, means telecommunicators have a high likelihood of developing burnout and mental health struggles.

High turnover rates and resource constraints have only exacerbated the problem. As ECCs today face difficulties overcoming understaffing, staff must work longer hours to field a high volume of emergency calls. This is causing a growing number of telecommunicators to experience low morale and high burnout from their high-stakes roles. 

Over time, the traumatic nature of jobs at emergency communications centers can lead to problems with mental health in 911 telecommunicators. This is especially true for telecommunicators who do not receive recognition for a job well done or adequate peer and social support to decompress from the stress of their jobs.

Low morale and ECC mental health struggles not only hurt individual telecommunicators but also lower the quality of public safety services as a whole. Overworked employees may need to take more time off to recover, perpetuating problems with understaffing and leading to service delays. Exhausted telecommunicators are also more likely to make mistakes or become pessimistic and hopeless about their roles. This is particularly significant since all it takes is one critical mistake to expose your center to liability and forever alter the course of the telecommunicator’s and caller’s lives.

The solution: Citizen engagement software

Your emergency communications center can counteract these problems with PowerEngage, a citizen engagement software by PowerDMS. PowerEngage offers vital tools to facilitate peer support, boost 911 telecommunicator appreciation, and support the mental health of 911 telecommunicators. 

After certain calls, PowerEngage sends an automated survey to community members. This public safety software then collects responses and sends weekly emails to telecommunicators with positive feedback from the citizens they interacted with, showing employees the positive impact they’re making on their community. Your agency can also publicly display these commendations on a big screen in your building for everyone in the center to see, boosting morale and underscoring the significance of telecommunicators’ jobs.  

You can also use PowerEngage to facilitate wellness checks. This is a particularly useful feature for telecommunicators who have recently experienced a traumatic call. PowerEngage notifies peer supporters in your agency so they can check to provide the necessary support telecommunicators need after particularly traumatic calls. This provides a valuable, timely connection to peer support that can be hard to come by in typical day-to-day emergency communications center work, but is critical for ECC mental health.  

The benefits of public safety software

PowerDMS’s citizen engagement software boosts ECC morale, enabling telecommunicators to maintain high-quality public safety services. Because their excellent service doesn’t go unnoticed or unacknowledged, telecommunicators feel appreciated by their community and agency. And when telecommunicators inevitably respond to a traumatic call, they receive critical social and mental health support from your peer support team to help them cope. 

These benefits increase agency morale and improve public safety services, both of which boost your reputation among employees and citizens alike. The best part? As your center becomes known as a workplace that prioritizes the well-being of telecommunicators, you can grow retention and increase recruitment to further minimize telecommunicator overwhelm. 

Get started

Ready to reduce 911 burnout? Schedule a no-obligation demo today to learn more about how PowerDMS’s public safety software, PowerEngage, can help. 

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