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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2012

    Seeking some advice

    Hi there! I'm looking for some advice! I recently applied for a full-time dispatching position here in MN. Got an e-mail today that I'm accepted to take my practical exam this upcoming Monday. I'm excited, but 85% nervous because I don't know what to study, prepare for.

    I've got a typing speed of 104 WPM, so far an average of 5200 KPH (using Criticall Data entry simulator found online), and I've been listening to 911 recordings typing information as I hear the caller say it. I know my APCO codes (although they're ridding them here in southern MN), and I know my phonetics like the back of my hand (I did some dispatching for a local college university 3+ years go).

    Is there any advice for studying or preparation for my practical based on any general findings?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    New York State
    Congratulations on getting invited to the practical and welcome to the forums. It sounds to me that you are well prepared. You say you have some prior dispatch experience and are familiar with the APCO codes. Can you get a copy of one of APCO's study guides? Most libraries will have a copy, even if not the most current. Other than that, they shouldn't expect you to be familiar with specific policies or codes. That is what training is for. You should be familiar with what agencies or depts. is "your" dispatch center handling. Just county agencies? All agencies in the county? Just Le, or all public safety? Simply doing your homework a little.

    Most important: Try not to worry about it. Sunday night, go to bed early. Eat breakfast on Monday (even if you usually don't) and get to the test plenty early. No need to be stressed about traffic, or getting a flat, etc.

    Good Luck and be sure to let us know how it goes.
    "There is no second place winner"-- Bill Jordan

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    South Carolina
    Frafty, how was your testing on Monday?

    Someone once told me that time is a predator that stalks us all our lives. But maybe time is also a companion who goes with us on our journey, and reminds us to cherish the moments of our lives because they will never come again.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    In a nutshell, it was way easier than what I was anticipating, and I'm glad I practiced some of the things I did. Split ear multi-tasking showed up out of no where in terms of whether or not I could practice it; we were writing down addresses and phone numbers and as the addresses got longer, the next one was being read off.

    I found that I picked up what I was hearing, memorized it as I was writing down the previous information, and caught myself up based on memory. There were 9 sections: 1 - Identifying if an address is different, exactly the same. 2 - Code matching. 3 - Prioritizing calls. 4 - Recording data (MN Licenses/VINs). 5 - Narrative Memory. 6 - Recording addresses/phone numbers. 7 - Spelling. 8 - Letter/Number Recall. 9 - Extensive Narrative memory.

    We were all done in less than an hour (roughly 40 minutes).

    I would be very surprised if I didn't pass this test. Only time will tell though. Thanks again for your help!



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