CHUNCHEON, Jul. 5 (Korea Bizwire) — Rescue workers in Gangwon Province have developed a manual that will help guard emergency call operators against prank calls and other non-urgent calls made to emergency rescue centers.
The province’s fire department said that it had published a “protective manual,” a first in the nation.
The measure comes as many emergency call center operators have been plagued with stress stemming from callers who do not have any pending emergencies that require immediate attention.
In addition, 13 percent of call center operators were found to be suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, having to deal with callers who inflicted verbal abuse including that of sexual nature.
Another 25.7 percent of the workers were suffering from sleep disorders, which was 8.8 percentage points higher than the rate suffered by firefighters in general.
Although there have been previous attempts to help safeguard emergency operators by means of categorizing repeat offenders, they have been ineffective.
Emergency call center operators have the emotionally draining job of trying to be calm and friendly to all those who call the center for help.
The task is difficult because operators must try to provide assistance in emergency situations, judging the severity of the case based solely on the conversation with the caller.
The new manual will help protect call center operators by including case studies of repeat offenders and detailed steps that operators can take to effectively deal with problematic callers.
M. H. Lee (email@example.com)