Saturday, December 1, 2012

Legitimate or not: checking your sources

Want to know the latest stats on 911 calls or which state has mandatory training for it's telecommunicators? have no fear, the information is just a click away. The Internet is a treasure chest of data bases from analog to Zetron. the biggest obstacle is determining the reliability of the information.

How do you know the knowledge posted is valid or not? what about the author? For all you know, I could be an eight year old girl hunched over a keyboard sipping on a Dr. pepper listening to Justin Bieber while I type. As long as my golden boy singer keeps me happy, and my sugar rush flows through my veins, my posts will be decent. However, let mommy take away my IPod and all bets are off...

Thankfully, I'm not a child and I'm long past puberty, so I'm not counting on the latest & greatest pop star, either.

For legitimate news on our industry, try the Associated Public Safety Communications Officials (APCO), the National Emergency Number Association (NENA), or the Federal Communications Authority (FCC). Internet websites for dispatchers include Dispatch Monthly, 911 cares, 911 Magazine Online, 911 Lifeline, and APCO History (archives for magazine APCO Bulletin).

First responder websites include EMS1 online, PoliceOne, headsets911, the 911site, emsworld, and Firehouse magazine.

Of of the above sites come from respected companies. In some cases, managed by people I've spoke to or have worked with at some point during my career. i've researched others to see if their information is truthful and valid or not.

That is what you must decide on. never take one source of information and accept it to be true, unless you were part of the incident or witnessed the entire event. Unfortunately, somewhere along the line one person will hear about an incident and post it on line. Another person will read the posting and pass it on, and so forth until that incident has been accepted as truth because 'so and so' had it on their website and 'they are a respected blogger' so it has to be true. But, where did the information originate from?

I make claims on writing experience. Every article I have written can be found via APCO (except one done through 911 Magazine online). At the end of each article, my short bio notes where I work and my title. in a couple of the articles, I was on an APCO Committee at the time. You can check via the APCO History Archives on an author search. I post radio/tape recordings pulled from Dispatch Monthly's site to augment my dispatcher training tip blogs. Again, the links take you to the sites. For APCO members, my profile shows part of my work history (I just didn't go all the way back).

if you want to confirm a blogger's presumed qualifications, ask them. If I'm going to put myself out there, then I shouldn't be afraid to answer questions about myself.

I read other dispatcher blogs, and blogs from field personnel. Some of them have written books and others are like me, very opinionated. yes I speak up, but I try to offer solutions as well.

Any thoughts?

Stay safe out there

**cross posted in APCO's Public Safety Connect**

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