We have being experiencing problems with the continuity of the Helpline. This has been due to frequent inconsistencies with the handover procedure and we feel it’s prudent to give you all a refresher of our telephone service guidelines.The principal element of handover is that the oncoming responder must ensure they speak with the existing responder to confirm with each other that the helpline is still in service and to receive any unfinished business.This will happen either face to face in the office or when an oncoming responder calls the helpline to relieve the existing responder and report for duty. Sometimes in an emergency a slot is filled by someone who stands in at short notice and they will invariably not know who is on after them. We rely on the oncoming responder to call the helpline and report for duty.When the line has being transferred to a home responder then the helpline number is called immediately after to ensure the transfer has been initiated successfully.If we all ensure we do this then it is unlikely for us to experience problems i.e. shifts being unmanned without anyone being aware, or responders believing they are still on duty because the oncoming responder has not called the helpline at the beginning of their duty.When we fail to follow these guidelines there is nearly always an unexpected and last minute, inconvenient impact on the same small group of AA members to pick up the pieces.
Courtesy and consideration is desirable.
Please be early, or at the very least on time, whether you are an office or home based responder.
All responders are respectfully asked to report for duty and not expect to be chased to start their shifts.
We would like to encourage all responders to consider being early for their shift in order to let the office or home responders leave early. One example would be the evening shift in the office. As 10pm is quite late to be traveling home, please consider taking the help line over early if it is convenient for you.
If you are delayed by circumstances beyond your control, please call the helpline out of respect for those on duty. They may have important plans and need to leave as soon as their shift ends. It can be frustrating if there is no one to take over and they have not had a courtesy call to let them know.
Just so we can be sure you have read and fully understood this communication please could you reply to [email protected] to confirm you are willing and able to comply with these guidelines.