In most groups the person answering a phone rescue hotline is the initial point of contact with the public reporting injured or orphaned wildlife. The survival of wildlife can often hinge on this initial contact, and whether the caller receives good advice or not.
It is most important that people manning the phones have good information about the various scenarios they are likely to encounter. Having a manual that provides good advice for phone operators to refer to, can make a huge difference to the outcomes for injured or orphaned wildlife, and can help the operator to deal with calls relating to human/wildlife conflict. A manual to refer to makes the job much easier for the phone operators in wildlife groups.
Whilst the phone operators will usually direct calls to experienced wildlife carers, it is still important that this initial contact with the group provides good information and advice, and especially so, if there may be delays in contacting a wildlife carer. When the public find orphaned and injured wildlife they may have no idea what they should or should not do. If they can be given good advice immediately, it can save lives.
WIRES Blue Mountains branch has very kindly agreed to let Ozark use their phone co-ordinatorís manual as a reference or template, which can be downloaded here. It is an excellent manual, covering a lot of detail. Any groups may use this manual as a template from which to create their own if they wish to do so.
There may be differences in policies across different states and groups that may require modifications to suit, but much of the general information in this manual is likely to be common to most groups.
Thanks to Sonya Stanvic and WIRES Blue Mountains.