Faculty Articles

Emergency Communication Operators: Findings from the National Wellness Survey for Public Safety Personnel

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Journal of Police and Criminal Psychology




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.




Ethics Approval All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Consent to Participate Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

© The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Society for Police and Criminal Psychology 2023

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