Public Safety Telecommunicator Code of Ethics

As a Public Safety Telecommunicator, I am dedicated to serve the public; to safeguard life and property; to keep my personnel informed on all calls that may require their attention; to assist all public safety vehicles and personnel in the performance of their duties; assure that all rules and regulations which govern my position are not violated in any manner.

I will keep my private and social life free from all criticism; maintain a calm attitude during times of stress and emergencies; develop self-control and be constantly mindful of the welfare of others, regardless of race, creed, or religion. I will obey the laws of the land, rules, and regulations of the Federal Communications Commission and my department. Whatever information I receive of a confidential nature will be revealed only in the official performance of my duties.

I will never act in a selfish or unofficial manner or let my personal feelings, friendships, prejudices or animosity influence my decisions. I will enforce the rules and regulations of my department and the Federal Communications Commission without fear, favor or ill will, never employing unnecessary force and never accepting gratuities.

I recognize the high responsibility of my position as a symbol of public faith and trust and will accept it to be held as long as I am faithful to the ethics of public safety service. I will constantly strive to achieve those objectives and ideals, which govern my profession, dedicating myself, before God, to my chosen profession, public safety telecommunications.

Author: Evert E. Carter, Chief Dispatcher
Williamson County Sheriff’s Department
Marion, Illinois 1981

Project 43: Broadband Implications for the PSAP

Leverage Existing Technologies and Prepare for Evolving Broadband Communications

The goal of Project 43 is to help public safety telecommunicators, PSAPs, PSAP directors, 9-1-1 authorities, elected and appointed officials, and others in the public safety community better leverage existing technology capabilities and prepare for the evolving broadband communications technologies that will impact PSAP operations and, at the same time, improve support to field responders.

This report is the outgrowth of the work of nearly 80 member practitioners assisted by APCO professional staff arrayed across several working groups focused on the following major topical areas: operations, governance, cybersecurity, technology, training, and workforce. Each working group consisted of experienced public safety and industry professionals who met regularly over the course of a year.


Improve Your Agency’s Call Taking and Dispatching

APCO Guidecards improve your agency’s call taking and dispatching by providing rapid and consistent instructions customized to meet your agency’s needs and resources. They give telecommunicators ready access to precise information for specific call types and provide call handling techniques — which means your callers get the fast, consistent and appropriate information they need and expect in an emergency.

APCO Guidecards are specialized for emergency medical dispatch (EMD)fire service and law enforcement, and are available as racks or binders.

EMD Guidecards

EMD Guidecards are only available in conjunction with a complete implementation of the APCO Institute EMD Program. The implementation process includes customization to meet your agency’s needs and training of all dispatch personnel.

APCO Institute EMD Guidecards provide EMDs with the tools they need to properly prioritize the response level of a call and to provide pre-arrival instructions to the caller.

Fire Service Dispatch Guidecards

Fire Service Dispatch Guidecards provide agencies with guidecards for the triaging and dispatching of fire service-related emergency calls, customized to match the needs and resources of the individual agency. They use the fire service-specific information and call handling techniques taught in the APCO Institute’s Fire Service Communications training course and incorporate information provided by subject matter experts from the fire service and the public safety communications industry.


Law Enforcement Dispatch Guidecards

The APCO Law Enforcement Dispatch Guidecards provide agencies with guidecards for the triaging and dispatching of law enforcement-related emergency calls, and are customized to match the needs and resources of the individual agency.

The Law Enforcement Dispatch Guidecards use law enforcement-specific information and call handling techniques taught in the APCO Institute’s Public Safety Telecommunicator and  Law Enforcement Communications training courses. These incorporate information provided by subject matter experts in the law enforcement and public safety communications industry.

Examples of Guidecards

Learn More or Schedule a Demo

For more information or to schedule a demo of APCO’s Guidecards, please provide us with your contact information below so we can connect.
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Purchase Guidecards

For pricing and customization information, contact the APCO Sales Coordinator at [email protected] or (386) 322-2500.

Find Standards


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Alarm Monitoring Company to Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP) Computer-Aided Dispatch (CAD) Automated Secure Alarm Protocol

The Automated Secure Alarm Protocol (ASAP) is a successfully proven data exchange that has demonstrated efficiency and effectiveness in streamlining alarm notifications between alarm monitoring companies and public safety Emergency Communications Centers since 2009. This standard is the product resulting from the joint effort by APCO and The Monitoring Association (TMA) formerly known as the Central Station Alarm Association (CSAA).

Updates include the renaming the introduction of schema version 3.4 including new data fields and message types available to the users of this standard and critical to the mission of public safety. An emphasis on address verification/synchronization between the alarm companies and the ECCs is included. New alarm event types are also introduced as well as methods to indicate that an alarm has been verified positively as a real-life crime, fire, or emergency medical event.

Public Safety Grade Site Hardening Requirements

This standard is a comprehensive analysis of site hardening requirements, with the specific future intention to establish “hardening” standards, which create public safety grade sites. The requirements in this document have been developed by a subcommittee of the APCO Broadband Committee representing government communications system operators, communications systems vendors, representatives from commercial service provider LMR professionals, and broadband industry consultants.

NG9-1-1 Emergency Incident Data Document (EIDD)

The EIDD provides a standardized, industry-neutral National Information Exchange Model (NIEM) conformant (XML-based) specifications for exchanging emergency incident information to agencies and regions that implement NG9-1-1 and Internet Protocol (IP) based emergency communications systems. Emergency incident information exchanges supported by the EIDD include exchanges between disparate manufacturers’ systems located within one or more public safety agencies and with other incident stakeholders.

Download the EIDD IEPD (zip file), a NIEM-conformant package that describes the construction and content of the EIDD information exchange. It contains all of the schemas necessary to represent and validate the data content of the exchange. It also contains supplemental artifacts, such as documentation, business rules, search and discovery metadata, and sample instances.

Common Incident Types for Data Exchange

This standard focuses on providing a standardized list of Common Incident Type Codes to facilitate effective incident exchange between Next-Generation 9-1-1 (NG9-1-1) ECCs and other authorized agencies, which is a critical component of public safety interoperability. If an agency is receiving information about an incident, a basic level of incident classification will be required to assure they understand the type of situation. Rather than requiring an agency to change the codes they use internally, each agency should map their internal codes to the standardized list.

Standards Review & Comment

APCO’s standards development process allows anyone to participate and uses due process through consensus-based, open and balanced procedures. Each draft candidate standard is open for public review and comment for a 45-day period. Any person (e.g., organization, company, government agency, individual, etc.) with a direct and material interest has a right to participate by:

  • Expressing a position and its basis
  • Having that position considered
  • Having the right to appeal

All comments will be addressed by the standards working group.

If you have any questions, suggestions, or need for specific standards, please submit them for APCO’s review to [email protected] or call the Standards Program Manager at (469) 424-7599.