CAMPBELLSBURG, Ky. (WTVQ) – Twelve Kentucky State Police telecommunicators from throughout the Commonwealth were recognized at graduation ceremonies for the 16th class of the agency’s in-house Telecommunications Academy.
KSP Commissioner Rodney Brewer told the graduates the role of a telecommunicator at KSP is one of the “most pivotal positions we have.”
“You are the voice of agency when the public calls in and desperately needs help and that voice will set the stage for whether the situation turns out well or not,” said Brewer. “The best telecommunicators that I have ever worked with in my life are multi-taskers who can take tidbits of intelligence, process it quickly and pass it on for a positive resolve in the end.”
Brewer said the ability to process information quickly is instrumental to the trooper or officer on the other end of the radio.
“What you do in that dispatch room truly saves lives every day and sometimes it is our life that you save,” he advised the group.
Representing nine agency posts, the group began its studies on Sept. 14, 2020 at the KSP Training Academy in Frankfort. The course provided 196 hours of instruction during a five-week period.
The curriculum included subjects such as: legal liability, limits of telecommunicator authority, the telecommunicators role in public safety, interpersonal communications, customer service, interaction with the news media, stress, ethics and confidentiality, responder safety, basic fire dispatch, state emergency operations plans, criminal justice information systems, cardio pulmonary resuscitation, first aid training, emergency medical dispatch and special needs callers.
To complete the course, the telecommunicators were required to successfully process scripted calls for service and demonstrate proficiency in obtaining pertinent information, dispatching responders, providing emergency medical dispatch if needed and correctly documenting information from the call for service.
This training is completed using a computer simulation system to simulate their working environment in the radio room.
The Post 5 graduates of the 16th KSP Telecommunications Academy included:
— Breanna Stephenson, of Trimble County. Breanna is a graduate of Trimble County High School and the daughter of Kim and Leigh Stephenson.
— Ryan Foster, of Trimble County. Ryan is a graduate of Trimble County High School and the son of Dwight and Jolene Foster.
The Post 4 graduate is:
Johnathan S. Ray, of Grayson County, is the Post 4 graduate from the class. He is the son of Laura and Jamie Ray and an alumni of Grayson County High School.
The Post 16 graduate is:
— Jennifer Glenn, of Daviess County. She is the daughter of Rose A. Murphy and an alumni of Apollo High School.
The Post 6 graduate is:
— Whitney Jett, of Grant County, is the Post 6 graduate from the class. She is the daughter of Nora Roth and an alumni of Harrison County High School.
The Post 9 graduates are:
Tiffany Adkins, of Pike County. Tiffany is a graduate of Pike County Central High School. She is the daughter of Robin Gilliam and Brian and Suetta Adkins.
Guillermo Bustos, of Pike County. Guillermo is a graduate of Pike County Central High School. He is the son of Celena May and Ronald Bustos.
Dry Ridge Post Commander, Chad Mills, commented on the essential role of telecommunicators: “Telecommunicators are an integral part not only to this agency, but the community as a whole. Here at Dry Ridge, they not only work at KSP, but also serve as a hub for many other police and fire departments throughout northern KY. The job requires them to wear many different hats. One minute they may be on the phone giving directions to a stranded motorist, and on the next call they could be saving a life with CPR. Not only is everyday different, but every call is different. That is why they are so important to our mission.”
According to Jason Long, Law Enforcement Training Instructor at the Kentucky State Police Academy, working in todays emergency services communications center requires a number of qualities and characteristics that are absolutely imperative including:
- the ability to handle very stressful, challenging conditions
- flexible work schedules
- empathy in dealing with others
- the ability to learn and adapt, especially in areas of technology.