Government Technology

Online Training for 911 Call Center Infuses a Multimedia Experience

SNOPAC utilizes Mindflash for online training courses

September 19, 2013 By

Traditional employee training often involves sitting in a classroom and taking quizzes on the course material after an instructor provides a lesson. To avoid pulling employees into a classroom during work hours, training administrators at the Snohomish County, Wash., 911 call center (SNOPAC 911) enlisted the assistance of a Web-based training system.

SNOPAC is a regional, consolidated emergency communications center that provides 911 and dispatching services to 39 public safety agencies in Snohomish County where 630,000 incidents are handled every year. It’s one of the largest 911 centers in Washington state and covers nearly 80 percent of Snohomish’s geography, said Kurt Mills, SNOPAC’s executive director.

As a round-the-clock operation, SNOPAC employees are required to participate in continued education with training that covers anything from a policy change to a refresher course on flood operations, said Operation Coordinator Crystal Ayco. To veer away from traditional classroom-based training, the center deployed Mindflash, a platform that allows administrators to create online training courses. Employees receive a link via email to the training course and access it using a secure, personal login.

Ayco said she uses the platform to create courses that integrate Microsoft PowerPoint presentations. Quizzes can be incorporated into a course with automated grading that alerts the course administrators about whether a student passed or failed.

Other forms of media like photos, links to YouTube videos and audio clips can be integrated into the courses, Ayco said. For example, when a policy changes on how police dispatchers handle a felony stop (a high-risk situation for officers), employees may need to be quizzed on the update. Through the media in the online course, students can get a visual example of how the policy has changed.

“Being able to show [employees] a YouTube video of what it looks like for an officer to conduct a felony stop would be a helpful visual for them,” Ayco said. “It’s more than just, ‘Here’s the policy change.’”

Since deploying the platform about two and a half years ago, SNOPAC administrators have created nearly 50 online training courses, most of which have 15 to 30 minutes worth of reading material, Ayco said. All SNOPAC employees take the online courses through Mindflash, and since they are archived, new hires can access those same classes. Depending on an employee’s job description, administrators can send course material that caters to the type of training the individual needs.

When SNOPAC first deployed Mindflash, Ayco said administrators dealt with the challenge of having too much material in a single online course. After some trial and error, they scaled back the material into more digestible, user-friendly amounts.

| More


Add Your Comment

You are solely responsible for the content of your comments. We reserve the right to remove comments that are considered profane, vulgar, obscene, factually inaccurate, off-topic, or considered a personal attack.

In Our Library

White Papers | Exclusives Reports | Webinar Archives | Best Practices and Case Studies
Public Safety 2019
Motorola conducted an industry survey on the latest trends in public safety communications. The results provide an outlook of what technology is in store for your agency in the next five years. Download the results to gain this valuable insight.
Improving Emergency Response with Digital Communications
Saginaw County, Mich., increases interoperability, communication and collaboration with a digital voice and data network, as well as modern computer-aided dispatch.
Reduce Talk Time in Your Support Center by 40%
As the amount of information available to citizens and employees grows each year, so do customer expectations for efficient service. Contextual Knowledge makes information easy to find, dropping resolution times and skyrocketing satisfaction.
View All

Featured Papers