Dispatch Pro FAQs

What is in each Dispatch Pro online training lesson?

Most PLS online dispatcher lessons analyze actual 9-1-1 emergency calls selected for the relevance of the call topic and their potential training value. The lesson plays a recording of each Target Call so the dispatcher can review it in real time. The training analyzes every aspect of the call, including: the dispatcher’s questioning techniques (where, what, when, who, etc.); professionalism (situational awareness, caller/responder/public safety, control, use of language); and customer service (assurances, courtesy, use of voice, manner of ending the call, etc.). PLS dispatcher training emphasizes developing visualization skills.​ PLS online training provides dispatchers with information they rarely have: the outcome of the emergency that was the subject of the Target Call. Our training also offers an analysis of the dispatcher’s call handling from the perspective of career dispatchers, a personal injury attorney, and a risk manager. Finally, PLS training provides background material, media links, discussion questions and/or statistics related to the emergency in the Target Call. Each PLS online dispatcher lesson take approximately one hour to complete.

What topics are covered in the online dispatch lessons?

Lesson topics are chosen to provide training opportunities on a wide variety of 9-1-1 emergency situations. This includes frequent call topics such as domestic disputes and motorists reporting impaired drivers, and less common topics such as active shooters, baby deliveries, and excited delirium. A unique feature of PLS Dispatch Pro online training is that it provides training on two levels. First, Dispatch Pro focuses on visualization, professionalism, and customer service skills development. Second, Dispatch Pro provides training on the incident itself by giving background information on the call (including the outcome of the situation), and facts, news links, and other statistical data intended to build the dispatcher’s general knowledge on various types of emergencies. A list of past call topics can be seen by clicking here. An index of recent lessons is available here.

Are the lessons eligible to satisfy CDE Recertification requirements?

Dispatch Pro lessons are designed to satisfy state CDE recertification requirements for line dispatchers in most states. PLS Dispatch Pro online training is eligible to satisfy CDE recertification requirements for APCO (EMD) designations and IAED (EMD, EPD, and EFD) designations. APCO requires 12 hours of CDE per year, 10 of which may be obtained in a non-classroom setting. IAED requires 24 hours of CDE every two years, 20 of which may be obtained in a non-classroom setting. Each one-hour PLS Dispatch Pro lesson is eligible to satisfy one hour of non-classroom CDE. Additionally, many states that have state-specific CDE requirements will accept PLS Dispatch Pro to satisfy those requirements. Please contact PLS for specific information regarding your state.

How do the lesson delivery system and management tools work?

Using the PLS dispatcher training system is easy and intuitive. From the PLS website, dispatchers log into the training system using their unique username and password. The website displays a menu of dispatcher training lessons available and the lesson taker selects the lesson he/she wants to take. As a default, PLS makes lessons available for 60 days, but program administrators may request to have lesson available for the remainder of the calendar year. Each lesson comes with a lesson plan outlining the 9-1-1 calls covered that month. Point and click navigation tools guide dispatchers though each lesson. If interrupted, dispatchers may bookmark and exit the lesson, or after 10 minutes, the system will auto-bookmark and log them out. They simply log back in to resume the lesson. At the end of the lesson, a ten-question exam is presented. A 70% score is required to pass. Upon passing the exam, a certificate of completion is available. Most 9-1-1 call centers print the certificate of completion and the lesson plan to put in the dispatcher's file for use during the recertification process. The administration of the roster, creation and maintenance of training records, password resets and all other administrative functions are handled by the local program administrator. A detailed Administrator’s Guide is provided with the purchase of Dispatch Pro.

How do most call centers use the training?

Most 9-1-1 call centers make individual dispatchers responsible for taking a lesson each month. The PLS dispatcher training system tracks the progress of each dispatcher and the administrator can view this information. The training often generates a great deal of discussion, sometimes heated debate, among the dispatchers in each call center. Many supervisors report that this discussion is one of the aspects of the training they appreciate the most and that it results in a greater retention of the material.

What are “Best Practices” in the use of the training?

A growing number of 9-1-1 call centers are using PLS Dispatch Pro as the basis for an agency-wide training program that includes lessons taken individually and group discussions. After everyone on staff completes the online training, the training coordinator or supervisor can spend his/her time interacting with staff and reinforcing the training. Since training coordinators or supervisors are relieved of the responsibility of finding or creating training material, they can focus on building and maintaining a well-trained staff.

What are the advantages of online dispatcher training?

It is our belief that online training should be part of an overall telecommunicator training program that includes individually completed training, such as PLS Dispatch Pro, as well as traditional classroom training. The advantages of PLS Dispatch Pro online training for the non-classroom hours include: - PLS dispatch training is highly effective because it analyzes the handling of actual 9-1-1 calls. - The lesson material is varied and fresh topics are available each month. - PLS telecommunicator training is easy, convenient, and cost-effective to train the entire staff. - All dispatch staff members take the same lesson during the same period, keeping everyone on the same training page. - PLS lessons usually generate very useful formal and informal discussions within agencies that raise competency levels for all. - 9-1-1 call center staffing and management problems are reduced when high quality training can be delivered online with no backfill or overtime expenses. - No budget-busting travel, per diem, or lodging costs. - Training record creation and maintenance is easy. - Recertification credit hours for APCO and IAED can be received for $10 per credit hour (or less if the agency qualifies for a large-agency discount).

Are demonstration lessons available?

Yes. Click on the gold “Schedule a Demo” button on any page and you will be directed to the "Contact Us" page.

How much do Dispatch Pro online lessons cost?

A 16-hour subscription of 16 lessons costs $160 for each full-time dispatcher. A basic annual subscription consisting of 12 lessons costs $120 for each full-time dispatcher. An annual subscription consisting of 6 lessons costs $80 for each full-time dispatcher. Discounts are available for large agencies. PLS does not charge for part-time dispatchers taking lessons so long as the number of dispatchers paying for lessons is greater than the number of dispatchers not paying for lessons.