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911 dispatchers get training on suicide prevention

Amarillo, Texas  - Local 911 dispatchers agree, suicide rates have increased.

We all know to call 911 in an emergency, like a fire or car accident. But, local dispatcher say they are seeing more suicide callers.

This week they came together for crisis intervention training. A main topic of that training was suicide prevention. Those in attendance learned new approaches to better serve callers.

Instructor, Kevin Willett with Public Safety Training Consultants spoke today about how to better connect to the person in crisis on the other end of the phone. Willett says 911 dispatchers play an important role in preventing suicide.

"Absolutely vital. We're America's lifeline. Right now with returning military with post traumatic stress, with people losing their homes with the economy, and with the job market the way that it is there's a lot of depression and sadness. People know they can call our number and we can help them. We can get referrals. We can get anything that we can to help them through a really tough time," Willett says.

Other topics in the week long class included other crisis calls and avoiding complacency. Those in attendance say they are walking away able to better serve the community.

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