The Communications center operates 24/7/365. We answer 911 calls, Emergency Phones, Elevator calls, and the police business lines. We gather information from the caller and dispatch the appropriate resources. We provide Fire, Intrusion, and Duress alarm monitoring and notifications to any department. We dispatch for both Police and Security divisions and provide resources and support for the team, students, faculty, staff, and citizens of the University of Utah.
Jill Pender - Communications Center Operations Manager
We provide alarm monitoring for multiple types of alarms on campus and some of research park. These alarms include panic alarms, intrusion alarms, fire alarms, chemical alarms and irradiator alarms. If an alarm is received, we will view any live cameras associated with the location where possible, send the appropriate response personnel, and make the appropriate notifications.
The Communications Center is a 911 center using the latest phone technology able to provide text-to-911 services. The 911 calls are originally received at the SLC police dispatch. The calls are then transferred to us on a 911 trunk line which allows us to receive Automatic Number and Location Information about the caller. While a voice call is still preferred when possible, texting is another option in the event of an emergency.
We belong to a collaborative group across the Greater Wasatch area. We share the same phone system and technology with many other 911 agencies within the valley such as SLC, Weber County, Unified Police and Valley Emergency Communications Center (VECC). This allows us to conference or transfer calls with one click of a button. It also allows us to share mapping information for the entire valley. This is specifically helpful for medical and fire responses. Being a part of the Multi Node allows us the ability to relocate to any of the other facilities and log into our 911 phone system from their location in the event we were evacuated. This way we will still be able to process any calls for service for the campus area.
The dispatch in-house training program is a minimum 12-week process which teaches individuals how to prioritize calls, send the appropriate responders, track and document events as they unfold and work with a variety of software systems, the radio system, phone system and other technology. The most important skill to have as a dispatcher is the ability to remain calm and multitask under high-stress situations and to develop critical thinking to provide officer and citizen safety during an emergency. Once our in-house training has been completed, dispatchers are sent to multiple different trainings to become certified. Thereafter they must complete 20 hours of continuing education training every year to maintain those certifications.
Dispatchers are required to be certified in NIMS 100, 200, and 700 courses, AED/First Aid/Adult, Child and Pediatric CPR, EMD (Emergency Medical Dispatching), BCI (Bureau of Criminal Identification), TTY/TTD and POST (Police Officer Standards and Training) Dispatch certification within the first year of employment. Dispatchers must then re-certify every two years for the majority of these certifications.