Emergency dispatch operators are asked to obtain required key-information and are responsible for allocating resources and responding within a minute. The aim of this explorative study was to analyze the communications strategies that emergency dispatch operators employ to recover information during the call. To this end, 217 emergency calls, were selected from a sample of calls collected at 118 ReggioSoccorso emergency dispatch centre and were content analyzed. Results from the qualitative analysis showed that emergency dispatch operators employed ten categories of communication strategies: active listening, hypothesis-confirmation, partial reiteration, referring to caller’s name, repetition, "brokenrecord" technique, reinforcing feedback, reassurance, acknowledging the caller’s behavior and emotional state. The implications for theory, research and professional practice resulting from the present study are discussed.
Keywords: Telephone communication, emergency, dispatch operators, communications Strategies