Everything on the Line: Calming & De-escalation of Aggressive & Mentally Ill Individuals on the Phone – A Comprehensive Guidebook for Emergency Dispatch (9-1-1) Centers- HC Version



Although call-takers at an Emergency Dispatch Center are under no immediate physical threat, they are often the focus of intense verbal violence. In this comprehensive guidebook, Ellis Amdur, with the assistance of consultants whose cumulative experience in emergency call-taking and emergency dispatch totals over one hundred and twenty years, walks professionals working in Emergency Dispatch Centers through a multitude of steps they can assist in keeping first responders, callers and other members of the public safe, while functioning at the highest level of professionalism. Amdur’s approach is based on behavior rather than diagnosis. The first section of this book discusses general principals required to prepare an emergency dispatch center for calls from emotionally disturbed individuals, as well as threat assessment: how to acquire essential information necessary to prepare first responders for any potential risk at the scene. In the second major section of the book, he focuses on us: what we can do to achieve a state of integrity and powerful calm. Rather than abstract pronouncements, he offers specific strategies, including a method of breathing for the purpose of maintaining a one’s own center in crisis situations. He then moves on to the heart of the book, discussing specific behaviors ranging from confusion and obsessive concerns to psychosis, mania and acute disorganization. In one very important section, he discusses interactions with anti-social and psychopathic individuals, people who present a danger to the psychological and physical well-being of anyone with whom they come in contact. He moves on to suicidal callers, and then how to de-escalate aggressive and chaotic callers once a crisis begins. De-escalation tactics are specific – one learns how to immediately recognize what mode of aggression the person is displaying, and then, one can effectively implement the de-escalation tactics that are best suited to deal with the aggression one is facing.

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About the Author

Ellis Amdur balances two careers, that as a crisis intervention specialist, through his company, Edgework and as a 50+ year practitioner of traditional Japanese martial arts. His writing meets right in the middle. Through his company, Edgework Books, he has self-published ten books on the verbal de-escalation of aggression and calming of agitated mentally ill people, one each for those in the social services personnel, for hospitals, for families, for police officers, for firefighters and EMTs, for parole/probation officers, for 911 call-takers, for security guards, correctional officers in a jail setting and for worksite safety (HR, threat assessment professionals, etc), some co-written. In addition, he has published Shapeshifting: Effective Scenario Training for Hostage Negotiation Teams, co-written with Fmr. Sgt. Lis Eddy. He has also released a video and instructional book on verbal de-escalation for the armed citizen, through the United States Concealed Carry Association (USCCA).
Amdur has also published Body and Soul: Toward a Radical Intersubjectivity in Psychotherapy, a combination of a lyrical description of how phenomenology and dialogal philosophy can be applied to psychotherapy, followed by two heart-wrenching accounts showing how these abstract principles are embodied in the real world.
He has written and published three books on martial arts, the iconoclastic Dueling with Osensei: Old School, a work on classical martial traditions and most recently, Hidden in Plain Sight, on esoteric knowledge within various Japanese martial traditions. All three of these books, in revised, expanded editions are published by Freelance Academy Press.
Along with authors Neal Stephenson, Charles Mann & Mark Teppo and artists Robert Sammelin and Dean Kotz, Ellis has released the Jet City Comics graphic novel, the Cimmaronin.
His first novel, The Girl with the Face of the Moon is published on Amazon KDP, with an illustrated print version pending. He is currently working on his second novel.
His books are considered unique in that he uses his own experiences, often hair-raising or outrageous, as illustrations of the principles about which he writes, but it is also backed by solid research, and boots-on-the-ground experience.

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