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Dispatcher Training Radio Tips

19 FEB 2013
Career Path : Mechanic

Despite ongoing advanced it telecommunications; the radio remains a crucial part of dispatcher training. A good radio voice and mannerisms are invaluable to every dispatcher, whether you work in emergency response or taxi co-ordination. You will also need to be an expert with the equipment you handle.



– Keep the microphone a fist’s distance from your mouth. This will prevent feedback and distortion issues. If you have a headset, make sure it is properly and comfortably adjusted accordingly. You’re going to be wearing it for hours at a time and it is less likely to get broken if you don’t have to keep fiddling with it through your shift.
– Get to know all the quirks and idiosyncrasies of your switchboard. Every single piece of complicated electronics will sometimes behave as if it has been possessed by gremlins. If there’s a veteran dispatcher on the team they can probably teach you the secrets.
– A familiarity with the general function of radios, but also the specific make and model of the people you are dispatching helps.



– Clear but natural enunciation is the best sort of radio voice. You do not want to speak with exaggerated slowness, but neither do you want to speak excessively fast. On the other hand, it is not a bad thing if you have a regional accent as long as you are comprehensible.
– For situations where you need to sound happy, smile. A natural smile, even if nobody will see it, will come out. For situations where other people are yelling or in a state of panic, lower your voice. Generally speaking if there’s tension in your voice the listener will pick up on it and respond in kind.



– Don’t dwell on mistakes. Make a quick correction and move on. On the other hand, make sure you admit it when you mess up. It is alright to admit you’re having a rough day too.
– Document and write down everything. As well as compensating for lapses in memory, it provides a proper paper trail for a post crisis assessment and can serve as a useful training tool during dispatcher training.
– Always check back on the people you’re dispatching if they don’t get back to you. Whether it’s a taxi driver who is supposed to pick up a fare or a police officer investigating a break in, or even a tow truck taking a wreck to the auto service technician, it’s a cardinal sin of dispatching to ever lose somebody.
– Learn radio jargon and vocabulary. There’s a whole dictionary of terms and special words for use on the air. Some of these are a matter of convention and vary by industry. On the other hand things like the phonetic alphabet are so universal that they are typically still taught during dispatcher training.



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