Effectively handling crisis calls

There are over 45,000 reported suicides yearly in the United States. For every completed suicide, there are 50 others that call 9-1-1 or a suicide prevention hotline as a cry for help before or during a suicide attempt. Dispatch Centers are often the initial "first responder" when hostage events or barricaded suspect events occur. Dispatchers must know the delicate balance that they are responsible for during family emergency and various crisis calls.

PSTC is the ONLY Dispatch Training Provider to have a partnership with the Veterans Administration to train 9-1-1 Professionals the best and most current ways of communicating with Veterans and members of the military in crisis. 123 Veterans commit suicide daily.

​Our PSTC Crisis Communications Tool Box will make you a more effective call taker and dispatcher. It will also increase responder safety and improve the chances of a successful outcome. As emergency communicators, we are vital caregivers in the public safety circle. What do we need to say to suicidal callers or depressed subjects? What do you need to know about Suicide-by-COP precipitators? How do we prepare the first responders with a picture of what they are responding to? How do we transition between being caregivers, information gatherers and tactical response dispatchers in suicidal caller events?

​Topics Include:

  • Myths and facts of suicide and suicide by COP events and your responsibilities
  • Terms to use or avoid with volatile callers
  • Specific call taking and dispatching techniques for responder safety!
  • Domestic and Family Violence: the dispatcher's vital role in information gathering
  • The Exclusive PSTC Crisis Communications Toolbox: What it is and how to use it for suicidal/suicidal by COP, depressed and upset, domestic violence, and hostage/barricaded callers.​

Please Note: While class participation is encouraged through role-playing and scenario calls. Though not mandatory, each student will have the opportunity to role-play with a variety of calls based on real situations that have occurred around the nation.


Class Length: 8 hours

Target Audience: Any public safety employee at any level with an interest in the topic.

Certification(s): California POST, Michigan, and Massachusetts Certified. IAED Approved for CEU’s.

  • Call for details regarding other certifications.

To host this course or if you have questions, e-mail
or call (650) 591-7911.


"This was presented with the mixture of humor, fact, compassion and empathy - probably some of the best training I have received."

- Mike, CSP

"Well organized, gave information that I didn't know even with my 17 years dispatch experience!"

- Mary Ann, Garden Grove Police

"Excellent knowledge of the subject matter. Material job specific relating to dispatchers. Refreshing having a dispatcher teach a class of dispatchers instead of a cop pretending to know what we do."

- Russ, Stanislaus Regional 911 Center

"Great class, much better than other classes by companies I have previously attended. Actually focus' on dispatchers & our Job! Kevin is a great instructor. He delivers an important topic in a professional way and keep the class interesting."

- Anonymous