Upon being hired as a telecommunicator, a new hire begins with two weeks of classroom training, which introduces DU-COMM's computer system and basic procedures. Then, under the guidance of a training operator, the trainee spends six to eight weeks learning how to answer 911 calls. After receiving a preliminary certification as a call taker, he or she practices and hones that skill for up to three months, during which time the training supervisors assign the trainee to either police or fire dispatching.
After that comes six to eight weeks of radio dispatch training with a different training supervisor. Trainees also have to pass written exams at various stages of their training. The whole process takes an average of nine months.
Managers continue to monitor and critique dispatchers through an in-house quality-assurance program. Persistent training enables dispatchers to perform at the high level the job demands.