The Charlottesville - UVA - Albemarle County Emergency Communications Center (ECC), receives emergency (911) and non-emergency telephone calls for service. We dispatch these calls to the appropriate police department (Charlottesville City Police Department, Albemarle County Police Department, or the University of Virginia Police Department) or volunteer rescue squad (Charlottesville-Albemarle Rescue Squad,Western Albemarle Rescue Squad, or Scottsville Volunteer Rescue Squad). We also dispatch the Albemarle County Fire Department and the Charlottesville Fire Department.
Extensive and ongoing training of new Communications Officers is required to efficiently process these calls. Each new hire first completes an intensive six week in-house classroom orientation which introduces the basics of Computer-Aided Dispatch systems, call-taking techniques, radio procedures, police, Fire/Emergency Medical Dispatch procedures, and geography. This is followed by a 56 hour, state-mandated Dispatcher training class at the Central Shenandoah Criminal Justice Training Academy in Wyers Cave.
Upon completion of the classroom phase trainees are assigned to a Communications Training Officer (CTO) for one-on-one on the job training at each position in the Communications Center. The trainee is evaluated daily on written performance evaluations. Trainees are required to train on each position within the Emergency Communications Center. This includes the call-taking position, all three police radio positions, Fire/Emergency Medical Dispatch. Minimum and maximum training times are specified for each position and vary from two to ten weeks in duration. At the end of training on each position the trainee is required to demonstrate that they are able to work that position independently. In order to expose trainees to a wide variety of situations, they may rotate through different platoons during their training. It typically requires between 6 - 12 months to complete training at all five positions.