Pictured left to right holding certificates: Ladonna Estes, Sara Davis, and Courtney Hall.

Pictured left to right holding certificates: Ladonna Estes, Sara Davis, and Courtney Hall.

For NDL

Twenty Kentucky State Police telecommunicators from throughout the commonwealth were recognized last week at graduation ceremonies for the seventh class of the agency's in-house Telecommunications Academy.

"Across the state, KSP telecommunicators provide a lifeline to both citizens in need and officers in the field," says KSP Commissioner Rick Sanders. "They serve as an unseen, but vital link in keeping law enforcement officers and the public safe at all times of the day or night."

Representing 11 agency posts, the group began its studies on April 14th at the KSP Training Academy in Frankfort. The course provided 236 hours of instruction during a six-week period. The curriculum included subjects such as: legal liability, limits of telecommunicator authority, the telecommunicator's 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, cardiopulmonary resuscitation, first aid training, emergency medical dispatch and special needs callers.

The final week of the academy included training on computer-aided dispatch and other databases. 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.

The Post 3 graduates of the 14th KSP Telecommunications Academy included:

LaDonna Estes of Edmonson County. LaDonna is a graduate of Edmonson County High School. She is the daughter of Barry and Pauletta Vincent.

Courtney Hall of Warren County. Courtney is a graduate of Warren East High School. She is the daughter of Jim and Lisa Hall. Sara Davis of Warren County. Sara Davis is a graduate of South Warren High School. She is the daughter of Chad and Michelle Davis.

According to Jason Long, Law Enforcement Training Instructor at the Kentucky State Police Academy, working in today's 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.

His advice to those who may be considering the field as a career? "You need to think hard about whether you are willing to make the sacrifices you have to make. You have to spend time away from your family. You have to work weekends and holidays. With all the continuing training required, there is a big investment of time and you need to be sure you can make the commitment."