Dispatch as Incident Command: Multi-Disciplinary Team Approach

Dispatch as Incident Command: Multi-Disciplinary Team Approach
Duration: 60 Minutes
Module 1Module 1
Recorded on: 2023-12-05
Unit 1Presentation Materials: Dispatch as Incident Command: Multi-Disciplinary Team Approach
Unit 2Transcript: Dispatch as Incident Command: Multi-Disciplinary Team Approach
Unit 3Workbook: Dispatch as Incident Command: Multi-Disciplinary Team Approach
Unit 4Recording: Dispatch as Incident Command: Multi-Disciplinary Team Approach

The role of dispatch may be overlooked in the public safety space. They are, after all, enclosed within the confines of their centers while EMS, fire, and law enforcement are out in the field responding to incidents in real-time. This webinar looks into the critical role of dispatch in incident command given the resources and information they have access to.

Leading the discussion is Halcyon Frank, Director of Training and Development for the Denise Amber Lee Foundation. Halcyon has been in the emergency communications profession for the past decade where she found her niche in both online and in-person dispatch training.

Specifics of her presentation covered:

  • The inception of the Denise Amber Lee Foundation and the work they’ve been doing in the space of emergency dispatch and first response.
  • Dispatch’s critical role in incident command made by improving efficiency in responses involving various partners.
  • Incident Command System: What it is, what it provides, and its value.
  • The specific areas of dispatch’s role in incident command – gathering and relaying information, the ability to see the big picture of the incident, coordinating resources, and providing support to organize response.
  • How ICS ensures efficient response to incidents by not tying it into any administrative structure and instead focusing on best outcomes.
  • Obstacles that dispatch is experiencing in terms of:
    • Lack of defined roles, lack of training, and dispatch not being included in drills and exercises.
    • Dispatch’s perception of limited influence in incident response which may impact morale.
    • Staffing issues that create challenges in sending dispatch to trainings.
    • Lack of support from partner agencies.
  • Strategies to overcome the barriers keeping dispatch from being actively involved in the emergency response space.
    • Speaking up and asking to be involved in the trainings with partner agencies.
    • Demonstrating abilities to foster credibility and reliability with partners.
    • Developing and implementing training and exercises internally.
  • Practices worth trying to establish dispatch’s role in incident command.
    • Asking to be part of and participating in exercises, drills, and training.
    • Proactively practicing for the common recurring events to improve efficiency.
    • Preparing forms and processes to be more effective in their role in incident command.
    • Demonstrating excellence in the job to assist partners in delivering effective response.
    • A sample checklist that outlines all the steps, questions, and information to do, ask, and consider essential for a comprehensive incident response.

Points raised during the Q&A are about:

  • Crisis intervention training for dispatchers.
  • How dispatch assumes the incident command role.
  • Comparison between PSAP and real-time crime centers.
  • Tips for getting invited to trainings with partner agencies that are either reluctant or non-committal.
  • Most common objections to dispatch participation in partner agency drills.
  • Importance of representation for communication centers at incident command events.
  • The difference between incident dispatch team and communications center in incident command.
  • Training recommendations for new dispatchers.

Other Webinars with this Presenter


Click here to view and register for other upcoming Dispatch webinars and recordings on the JCH Platform.


Resources and Handouts

Audience Comments

  • “How important collaboration and partnerships are when responding.”
  • “The webinar was good information.”
  • “I found this webinar very interesting and learned that Dispatch is the first to get the information that gets the right responders to the scene/situation/incident.”
  • “Learning that there is no consistency in dispatch participation. Dispatch are essential first responders as they advise individuals of the situation and keep track of personnel.”
  • “Emergency drills should be a top priority! Excellent webinar, thank you.”
  • “This was such a great class and gives me so much more knowledge on the exercises with other agencies thank you all for what you do!! One of the most valuable things that I learned and can take to my supervisors is how we can be command before the units get on scene and make the command-like decisions.”
  • “The Host was very informative and knowledgeable of the topic. Very grateful that I am able to share some key topics with my management team. Also, thank you for pointing out that dispatchers are vital to investigators and victims alike. Thanks again.”



The Denise Amber Lee Foundation was founded by Denise’s husband, Nathan Lee in June of 2008, 6 months after her tragic death. He has made it his life’s mission to travel the country telling her story, to help 911 centers across the country try to avoid a similar occurrence to someone else. The foundation wants to use the emotional power of Denise’s story to motivate and inspire 911 personnel to remember why they do what they do. Arguably one of the most difficult professions on the planet, the foundation wants to remind them how important they are what a critical role they play every day in Public Safety.


Additional Resources
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