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Stress & Wellbeing in Emergency Dispatchers

Paul J. Bourgeois, Ph.D., CRC, NCC, Emily Hotz, B.A., Sharon Kwok, B.A.

Aug 11, 2021|Research Posters

Police officers, fire fighters, and emergency medical personnel are recognized for their hard work as on-scene responders, however the role of emergency dispatch is easily overlooked. The stressors that are seen in emergency responder work are also experienced by emergency dispatchers. While they are not experiencing these emergencies directly, this presents unique struggles for them.

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Willingness of Medical versus Non-Medical Emergency Responders to Accept Post-Incident Intervention

Charles Alan Clampett

Aug 13, 2019|AEDR 2019 Vol. 7 Issue 2|Original Research

It has long been anecdotally held by emergency responders that non-medical emergency responders were less willing to accept post-incident intervention following a personally disturbing event than their medical counterparts. Aspects of emergency responder stress were studied across multiple disciplines of the emergency services: pre-hospital emergency medical services (EMS), fire protection, law enforcement, and emergency department (ED) or emergency room (ER) personnel. Individual anonymous surveys were administered across the...

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Impact of Work-Related Factors on Stress and Health among 911 Calltakers and Dispatchers in California

Kimberly D. Turner, MPA, ENP, Michele Lilly, Ana M. Gamez, PhD, MBA, Kassandra Kressler, MA

Apr 09, 2019|AEDR 2019 Vol. 7 Issue 1|Original Research

Empirical literature examining the health and wellness of emergency responders has continued to grow over the past decade. Yet there is a relative absence of literature on 911 telecommunicators, who are often the "first, first responders" in an emergency. Examination of work-related factors that enhance risk for stress and adverse outcomes may improve current prevention and intervention efforts in this population. Civilian 911 calltakers and dispatchers from the state of California (N = 833) participated in an online study to...

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Is Dispatching to a Traffic Accident as Stressful as Being in One? Acute Stress Disorder, Secondary Traumatic Stress, and Occupational Burnout in 911 Emergency Dispatchers

B. Trachik, Madeline R. Marks, MS, Clint Bowers, PhD, Greg Scott, MBA, EMD-QI, Christopher Olola, PhD, Isabel Gardett, PhD

Mar 22, 2015|AEDR 2015 Vol. 3 Issue 1|Original Research

Emergency dispatchers are exposed to potentially traumatic events at rates that likely exceed that of emergency first responders. Although not physically present at the time of the incident, it is likely that this repeated exposure in concert with highly stressful work conditions could lead to potentially negative emotional and physical outcomes. To date few studies have examined rates of stress related pathology and subsequent impairment in emergency dispatchers. The following study takes an initial step to investigate rates of Acute Stress Disorder, Secondary Traumatic Stress and...

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Quantifying Cognitive Load of Emergency Dispatchers

Emily Weeden, Kelly Hale

Apr 04, 2022|AEDR 2022 Vol. 10 Issue 1|Original Research

During a given incident, dispatchers are under high stress balancing the workload of listening, understanding, recording, and responding to an unfolding event. These personnel work in a high stakes environment, where seconds can mean life and death. They are called upon to be the voice of reason and calm during traumatic events, and must follow policy and procedures in effectively communicating event information to a number of different user groups. The goal of this work was to demonstrate how a predictive workload equation can be used to evaluate cognitive workload of a dispatcher during a representati

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