10 Essential Tips for Emergency Call Taking During the Year-End Holiday Season

By Brett Wrenn, Global Director of Customer Success, Carbyne

santa talking by phone


The holiday season brings joy, celebrations, and a spirit of togetherness. However, for emergency call takers, it also marks a period of heightened responsibility and potential challenges. Managing emergency calls during this time requires a unique set of skills and preparedness to ensure swift, accurate responses. Here are ten invaluable tips for emergency call taking during the bustling year-end holiday season:

1. Stay Calm and Focused

Maintaining composure amidst the holiday rush is crucial. Sharpen yourself to stay calm, focused, and attentive, enabling clear communication with callers to gather essential information promptly.

2. Prioritize Urgency

Understand the urgency of each call. Prioritize based on the nature of the emergency, ensuring that the most critical situations receive immediate attention and dispatch.

3. Practice Active Listening

Active listening is key. Pay close attention to details, tones, and background noises. Encourage callers to provide specific information to assess the situation accurately.

4. Utilize Effective Questioning

Ask clear and concise questions to gather vital details. Create a structured approach to extract necessary information while reassuring the caller that help is on the way.

5. Manage Stress and Fatigue

Long shifts and increased call volumes can be exhausting. Take breaks when able to recharge and manage stress levels effectively to sustain optimal performance.

6. Collaborate and Communicate

Maintain open lines of communication with emergency responders and other call takers. Collaboration ensures seamless coordination, improving response times and overall efficiency.

7. Familiarize Yourself with Protocols

Be well-versed in emergency protocols and procedures. Regular training sessions and refreshers on handling diverse situations can significantly enhance preparedness.

8. Cultivate Empathy and Compassion

Show empathy towards callers experiencing distress. A compassionate approach can provide comfort and assurance while obtaining critical information.

9. Stay Updated with Technology

Familiarize yourself with the latest call-taking technology and software. Utilize available tools efficiently to streamline processes and enhance response accuracy.

10. Your Holiday, Your Way!

In public safety, it is easy to forget the warmth of the holidays when you have to work while others are celebrating. Be sure to celebrate your holiday your way – even if it means celebrating Christmas the following day. Don’t ignore the holiday, since this can add to the stress and burnout that is unfortunately all too common in public safety.


The year-end holiday season can be a challenging time for emergency call takers, but with the right mindset, skills, and preparation, you can effectively handle any situation that arises. Your dedication and swift response contribute significantly to keeping communities safe during this festive period.

As you embark on this crucial role during the holidays, remember that your commitment to serving others makes a profound difference. Stay resilient, stay focused, and know that your efforts are truly appreciated.

Wishing all emergency call takers a safe and successful holiday season!

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