UPDATE: FCSO Communications Center Recertified as a Public Safety Telecommunication Training Program

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The Flagler County Sheriff’s Office (FCSO) Communications Center has been recertified as a Public Safety Telecommunication Training Program. The approval is valid through December 16, 2025. The certification program requires agencies to re-apply every two years. The FCSO Communications Center received its first certification as a certified training center in late 2019.

The training program is organized by Communications Training and Relief Supervisor Genice Caccavale. During the application for recertification, the Communications Center must provide proof that they meet all state training standards. The training program is required to meet or exceed a minimum of 236 total hours of training. Proof must be documented and submitted with the application for re-certification.

Along with the application, the Communications Center must send training program requirements, proof of student-to-instructor ratio, FCSO guidelines and operational standards, and documentation to show the required minimum training hours are met by all trainees. Previously, trainees had to complete 232 hours of training but that was increased to 236 hours since telecommunicators are now required to complete T-CPR, which is a CPR course specifically for telecommunicators. The training program typically takes a trainee approximately one year to complete.

In addition to Genice, FCSO has four certified Communications Training Officers (CTOs) – Ashlie Hicks, Tina Eddy, Megan Burton, and Lucas Santos. They each are certified to train new employees in the Communications Center.

“Genice and the rest of the Communications Training Officers play a critical role in the success of our new 9-1-1 employees, and we are very thankful for all they do for our agency,” said Sheriff Rick Staly. “Not only does having our own training academy save taxpayers money but it also ensures our residents and callers to 9-1-1 know the dispatcher on the other side of the phone are well-trained and able to handle any emergency when they answer the phone.”

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The Flagler County Sheriff’s Office (FCSO) Communications Center has received certification as a Public Safety Telecommunication Training Center. Certified Public Safety Telecommunicators must complete extensive training provided by a certified training center prior to qualifying for the Department of Health State exam, which is required to be a 9-1-1 Operator. At Sheriff Rick Staly’s direction, a Training and Relief Supervisor position was created for the Communications Center at the end of 2017. This position was tasked with creating an approved training program that would certify the FCSO Communications Center as an approved training center and offer employees professional and standardized training in-house.

In order to be considered by the Department of Heath to become a Certified Training Agency, the FCSO had to create and submit a training program that followed the Department of Education’s Public Safety Telecommunication Curriculum Framework that consisted of 232 hours of training. Training and Relief Supervisor Genice Caccavale worked diligently throughout the year to create a training program that followed all of the required guidelines and ensured that it met all of the standards as specified in Chapter 401 of the Florida State Statutes.

By becoming an approved training program, it allows the Training and Relief Supervisor to facilitate the required Public Safety Training to all new-hires in the FCSO Communications Center and offer other agencies the ability to have their 9-1-1 Operators trained at FCSO. Previously, all new Communications employees had to take the Public Safety Tele-communicator class offered through an outside program which costs the agency $550 per employee to attend. With the training now in-house, those funds can be reallocated. The Agency will charge outside agencies if their employees attend FCSO classes as a reimbursement to taxpayers.

In addition to the cost-savings, being able to train in-house allows the ability to offer professional and standardized training and ensures that all new-hires are receiving the same training. It also gives employees an opportunity to have a more interactive training experience and gives them the opportunity to ask questions along the way. Previous outside courses were only offered online.

“This is a major accomplishment and I am very proud of all the hard work that Genice put into developing this program,” Sheriff Rick Staly said. “It was her mission to get our Communications Center approved as a training center and all of her hard work has paid off. Her passion to train employees is evident and she is a great mentor to our Communications personnel every day.”

The FCSO Communications Center is an accredited 9-1-1 center and serves as the county-wide Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP) for all Emergency 9-1-1 calls, non-emergency phone calls, and provides dispatch services for the Sheriff’s Office, the cities of Bunnell and Flagler Beach Police Departments, Flagler County Fire/Rescue, the City of Palm Coast Fire Department, and the Flagler Beach Fire Department.

FCSO’s 9-1-1 center is only the 155th certified Tele-communicators Training Center out of 258 PSAPS in Florida. Supervisor Caccavale has served the community since 2002 in the 9-1-1 Communications Center.

By Krys DeWind

Krys DeWind has been a Flagler County resident since 2016. She is active in her community and is always looking for ways to better it. She has a community first attitude which is one of the central founding ideals of the Flagler County Buzz.

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