Texas 9-1-1 Trainers Forum’s purpose is to enhance the professionalism of the 9-1-1 Telecommunicator (Operator, Dispatcher, Public Safety Communicator) in the state of Texas. This is accomplished through providing an opportunity to network with its members, share information, and learn from other 9-1-1 trainers from across the State. The networking group discusses items of mutual interest from a wide variety of topics including presentation skills, curriculum development, training resources, and state and national certification and standards. TNT works closely with other agencies and organizations in the development of standardization of training curriculum and training courses.
This group was formed following a session at the 2004 Texas NENA Conference by Teri Bloyd, representatives from North Central Texas Council of Governments, and Patty Cross of the Denco Area 9-1-1 District. This collaborative concept of sharing techniques and materials was borrowed, with full credit, from the 9-1-1 Public Educator’s of Texas group.
Highlights of TNT’s accomplishments since its start include:
TNT representation at TCLEOSE meetings; launched website and
on-line resources; hosted professional development speakers.
Educated TCLEOSE on ADA standards and suggested TTY/TDD training as a requirement for state certification. Guest speakers on Lesson Plan development and creative training presentations.
TCLEOSE voted to adopt TTY/TDD requirement; Members received first training resources from the Nat’l Joint TERT Initiative.
TNT reviews TC standards and educational requirements and discusses the need for stronger standards. Topics discussed at meetings include pre-employment testing, TC liability, e-Learning and NCMEC training.
Through TNT action, sought changes to the TX Occupational Code to set TC standards and license TCs. HB3175 was set for an interim study by the House. Topics discussed: New Technologies and 9-1-1, TTY Jeopardy, Training Documentation and Generational Learning Differences.
Continued efforts and consensus building for improved standards. Topics discussed: TCLEOSE curriculum review of Basic TC training, TLETS recertification, NCMEC best practices. Established Yahoo Chat group.
Rep. Senfronia Thompson and Senator Rodney Ellis introduced HB3823 during the 82nd Legislature, setting hiring standards and increasing training standards, without exemptions. Signed into law 6/17/11. TNT launched a statewide campaign to have all communication centers use and train in best practices for handling calls reporting missing and exploited children.
TNT created an online site with low cost training for Telecommunicators. The training is $10 per year per Telecommunicator and can be found on blueboardit.com
Rep. Senator Senfronia Thompson introduced HB1951 during the 83rd Legislature, this bill requires Telecommunicators, both full-time and part-time, to become licensed as of January 1, 2014. Additionally, it required 20 hours of continuing education every 2 years for all Telecommunicators. The bill was signed into law on June 14, 2014.
Telecommunicators in the state of Texas are now required to be licensed. Telecommunicators who were employed as of January 1, 2014 0000 were grand-fathered and do not require licensing.
September 1, 2015 begins the new TCOLE training cycle. This is the first cycle in which Telecommunicators are required to complete 20 hours of continuing education. Telecommunicators who fail to complete these hours by August 31, 2017 will put their Telecommunicator license in jeopardy.