Emergency Communication Operators: Findings from the National Wellness Survey for Public Safety Personnel
Journal of Police and Criminal Psychology
ISSN or ISBN
Emergency communication operators (ECOs) are routinely exposed to duty-related trauma and tasked with obtaining pertinent information to identify the nature of the emergency, allocate necessary resources and provide critical details to those responding to the crisis. Stress associated with responding to a difficult call places ECOs at an increased risk for mental health problems. This paper presents results of the National Wellness Survey for Public Safety Personnel, concerning the impact of occupational stressors ECOs experience. Findings indicate high prevalence rates of occupational and personal stressors, as well as diagnostic impressions of ECOs. The findings revealed that more than one-third of ECOs are experiencing clinically significant levels of anxiety, depression, and PTSD. Consistent with research, ECOs endorsed being negatively affected by their job, yet were reluctant to seek help. Implications of the findings for assisting ECOs in alleviating stress are considered. Suggestions for future directions in this area are offered.
Blalock, J. R.,
Black, R. A.,
Bourke, M. L.,
Van Hasselt, V. B.
(2023). Emergency Communication Operators: Findings from the National Wellness Survey for Public Safety Personnel. Journal of Police and Criminal Psychology.
Available at: https://nsuworks.nova.edu/cps_facarticles/2025