Emergency TeleCommunicator/Dispatcher Services

2014-15 Edition

Cascade Campus
Public Services Education Building (PSEB), Room 129
971-722-5424

www.pcc.edu/911

Career and Program Description

Emergency Dispatch Services is a two track program offered over three consecutive terms, beginning in fall term and completing in spring of the following year. Students will complete a 49-50 credit hour curriculum. All ETC students will take the same courses fall and winter terms. Based upon academic performance and skills assessment students will enroll in either the 9-1-1 track or the Service Dispatch track for their third term. The 9-1-1 track consists of 50 credits and requires passing the CRITICALL computer-based testing program with a total score of 75% and passing ETC 110 and ETC 111, the 9-1-1 simulation labs with a grade of “C” or better. The Service Dispatch track consists of 49 credits and will emphasize computer skills and customer service in the third term. Students in both tracks will have the opportunity to sit for the National Academies of Emergency Dispatch – Basic Telecommunicator Certificate exam.

Service Dispatch Track

A service dispatcher works in a call center environment, receiving calls from customers, clients, agencies and other entities requiring specific services. Most of these call centers deal with routine service requests, scheduling service appointments or providing information or referrals. Service dispatchers input data into computer systems designed to schedule appointments, provide trouble-shooting advice, recommend equipment upgrades, route calls to specialists or schedule appointments for field service providers and calculate billing information. Many service dispatch positions also require response to urgent or time-sensitive problems, such as power failures, water supply issues, equipment failures, traffic accidents or other transportation issues. Service dispatchers may handle emergency situations, including medical emergencies and environmental problems effecting specific locations or large geographic areas. Call centers can service a small area, such as a town or county, or large geographical areas, such as, multiple states.

Service dispatchers must have excellent customer service skills, keyboarding and date entry capabilities, problem-solving and critical thinking abilities and be able to function quickly and efficiently in sometimes stressful situations.Many services provide support to law enforcement, the fire service or emergency medical service - examples of these services are: roadside assistance/towing companies, various utilities, hospitals, mental-health providers, legal services and both public and private organizations.

Emergency Telecommunicator: 9-1-1 Dispatcher Track

An Emergency 9-1-1 dispatcher receives information from the public and emergency services personnel (police, fire and medical), at a public safety answering point (PSAP), commonly referred to as a 9-1-1 Center. The job involves the operation of complex communication equipment; including two-way radio, multi-line telephone systems and computers.

Both emergency and non-emergency calls are handled and field personnel dispatched. The dispatcher must have a thorough knowledge of local geography, an understanding of manpower needs and equipment, and be able to work within the constraints of departmental policy and procedures. Problem solv­ing and decision making skills, with minimum supervision, are also required. TeleCommunicators must keep accurate records of com­munications received and transmitted, maintain a constant status of all field operations and be able to perform simultaneous functions.

TeleCommunicators must respect the individual’s right to privacy and maintain strict confidentiality of sensitive information.

The Emergency TeleCommunicator Program is supported by local 9-1-1 centers and private agencies. This three-term certificate is designed to teach the technical skills needed to perform suc­cessfully in emergency telecommunications. The PCC certificate program has been developed cooperatively with the 9-1-1 dispatch centers in the Portland metropolitan area. The program is supported by an advisory committee made up of emer­gency services managers, supervisors, trainers and dispatchers.

Additional state approved certifications may be obtained through the program, such as, inquiry level Law Enforcement Data Sys­tem (LEDS) training, National Academies of Emergency Dispatch (NAED) Basic TeleCommunicator certification, and an overview of Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM).

Some course work within the Emergency TeleCommunicator 9-1-1 Program can be applied toward an Associate of General Studies degree. Students wishing to apply for a General Studies Associate degree should consult an academic advisor

Classes are taught by professionals in the field of emergency ser­vices and public safety communications. Students observe 9-1-1 center operations during the training and work with professional TeleCommunicators in the labs.

Degrees and Certificates Offered

One-Year Certificate

Emergency TeleCommunicator/Service Dispatcher
Emergency TeleCommunicator/911 Dispatcher

Prerequisites and Requirements

Placement into WR 121 and basic keyboarding skill equivalent to 25 WPM.

Application and Acceptance

The Emergency TeleCommunicator (ETC) Program is open to all high school graduates or equivalent who meet the standards for employment in the 9-1-1 field, including good physical condition and high moral standards. Reading and writing skills are important.

Students planning to apply for the Emergency TeleCommunicator Program should contact the program coordinator or program advisor for specific eligibility requirements and an application. Advising appointments will be scheduled upon request and are required prior to registering for classes. Because of the unique responsibilities involved in public safety emergency communications, the Emergency TeleCommunicator Program reserves the right to require that a student, who appears to the department, unsuited for emergency communications employment be counseled into another area of study.

The Selection Process

Selection into the ETC Program requires the following steps be successfully completed:

  1. Application – An application form is available in the Emergency Services Department Office, Public Services Education Building, Room 133 at Cascade Campus. Application forms are also available by mail upon request. Returned application forms will be processed upon receipt of all documentation listed in the application packet. Application for admission may be made any term, new students will be accepted for fall term, if space is available. Students wishing to complete the program in one year must begin fall term.
  2. Placement test scores or transcript with course completion are required.
    • Placement into WR 121
    • Keyboarding certificate showing a minimum typing speed of 25 WPM for 3 minutes with 90% accuracy.
  3. Advising appointment – an appointment with the program advisor to discuss curriculum and course schedule prior to registering for classes.
  4. Acceptance into the program is conditional upon receipt of a satisfactory Criminal History Background check. Applicants will be asked to submit fingerprint cards and forms requesting criminal history information to the Oregon State Police/FBI. The cost of this background check is paid by the applicant. Limited fingerprinting services are available through the college, by appointment.
  5. Current certification in First-Aid for the Professional Rescuer
  6. Current certification in CPR/AED

One-Year Certificate

Emergency TeleCommunicator/911 Dispatcher
Emergency TeleCommunicator/Service Dispatcher
 

Emergency TeleCommunicator/911 Dispatcher

Minimum 50 credits. Students must meet all certificate requirements.

Emergency TeleCommunicator/911 Dispatcher Certificate Credit Summary

ETC34
CAS3
CJA3
EM7
EMS3
Total Credits50

Course of Study

The coursework listed below is required. The following is an example of a term-by-term breakdown.

First TermCredits
EM 101Introduction to Emergency Services4
ETC 103Introduction to Emergency Telecommunications4
ETC 106Introduction to Law for Tele-Communicators3
ETC 108Introduction to Computer Aided Dispatching2
ETC 110Communication Center Operations - Basic Skills3
Second Term
CAS 122Keyboarding for Speed and Accuracy3
EM 103Information Systems of Emergency Management3
ETC 104Emergency Telecommunications - Call Taking4
ETC 111Communication Center Operations - Intermediate Skills3
ETC 124Radio Communications Lab1
Third Term
CJA 101Cultural Diversity in Criminal Justice Professions3
ETC 105Crisis Intervention & Critical Incident Stress Management3
ETC 112Communication Center Operations- Advanced Skills3
ETC 125Introduction to Fire Communications2
ETC 201Law Enforcement Data System (LEDS)1
ETC 202Emergency Medical Dispatch Overview2
ETC 203Tactical Dispatching for High Risk Incidents1
ETC 215ES Capstone: Emergency Services Hiring Process3
ETC 280ACooperative Education: Emergency TeleCommunicator1
MSD 151Working with Difficult People1
 Total Credits: 50

Emergency TeleCommunicator/Service Dispatcher One-Year Certificate

Minimum 49 credits. Students must meet all certificate requirements.

Emergency TeleCommunicator/Service Dispatch Certificate Credit Summary

ETC29
CAS3
CJA3
EM7
MSD7
Total Credits49

 Course of Study

The coursework listed below is required. The following is an example of a term-by-term breakdown.

First TermCredits
EM 101Introduction to Emergency Services4
ETC 103Introduction to Emergency Telecommunications4
ETC 106Introduction to Law for Tele-Communicators3
ETC 108Introduction to Computer Aided Dispatching2
ETC 110Communication Center Operations - Basic Skills3
Second Term
CAS 122Keyboarding for Speed and Accuracy3
EM 103Information Systems of Emergency Management3
ETC 104Emergency Telecommunications - Call Taking4
ETC 111Communication Center Operations - Intermediate Skills3
ETC 124Radio Communications Lab1
ETC 202Emergency Medical Dispatch Overview2
Third Term
CJA 101Cultural Diversity in Criminal Justice Professions3
ETC 113Communications Center Operations: Service Dispatcher3
ETC 215ES Capstone: Emergency Services Hiring Process3
ETC 280ACooperative Education: Emergency TeleCommunicator1
MSD 105Workplace Communication Skills3
MSD 117Customer Relations3
MSD 151Working with Difficult People1
 Total Credits: 49

Courses

ETC 103. Introduction to Emergency Telecommunications. 4 Credits.

Introduces the concept of telecommunications 911 dispatching, including roles, responsibilities and basic job duties. Audit available.

ETC 104. Emergency Telecommunications - Call Taking. 4 Credits.

Utilizes the NAED course to prepare for qualification of the nationally recognized National Academies of Emergency Dispatch, Basic Telecommunicator Certificate. Prerequisite: ETC 103. Audit available.

ETC 105. Crisis Intervention & Critical Incident Stress Management. 3 Credits.

Explores the unique stressors experienced by emergency services responders. Examines the Critical Incident Stress Management model and provides an opportunity for a mock debriefing session. Audit available.

ETC 106. Introduction to Law for Tele-Communicators. 3 Credits.

Introduces legal concepts and theory as they apply to emergency telecommunications and public safety. Audit available.

ETC 108. Introduction to Computer Aided Dispatching. 2 Credits.

Develops keyboarding skills using Computer Aided Dispatching based upon information received through various media, but most often aurally. Includes a variety of audio recordings, dictation and role-play to record emergency response information in a computer program and with a variety of software applications, including Word, Excel, Criticall and Computer-Aided Dispatch. Required keyboarding speed of at least 25 wpm. Audit available.

ETC 110. Communication Center Operations - Basic Skills. 3 Credits.

Introduces the emergency communications simulator lab. Applies methods and theory in an interactive lab setting using radio, telephone, computers and recording equipment. Includes the use of emergency communications equipment and standard operating procedures to simulate actual emergency calls and situations. Audit available.

ETC 111. Communication Center Operations - Intermediate Skills. 3 Credits.

Builds on skills learned in ETC 110 to provide practical experience for industry related multitasking, problem solving and customer service in a diverse market. Includes the use of the simulation lab, multi-line phones and radios and the application of policies, procedures and protocols. Prerequisite: ETC 110. Audit available.

ETC 112. Communication Center Operations- Advanced Skills. 3 Credits.

Covers emergency call-taking and emergency services radio communication in the 9-1-1 simulation lab. Requires demonstrating a high level of multi- tasking ability, quick responses and rapid problem-solving skills, as well as a familiarity with 911 computer software and multifunction telephone systems. This is the third course in a three-course sequence. Prerequisite: ETC 111. Department Permission. Audit available.

ETC 113. Communications Center Operations: Service Dispatcher. 3 Credits.

Continues practical experience for industry related multitasking. Introduces advanced problem-solving and improves customer service involving diverse populations. Includes the use of multi-line phones and radios and the application of policies, procedures and protocols in the handling of specific customer service situations. Prerequisite: ETC 111. Audit available.

ETC 124. Radio Communications Lab. 1 Credit.

Integrates practice of communication via two-way radio. Continues developing multi-tasking skills, accurate CAD documentation skills with information provided by field units and tracking field status over the radio. Prerequisites: ETC 110. Audit available.

ETC 125. Introduction to Fire Communications. 2 Credits.

Introduces fire call taking and dispatching. Includes the use of emergency communications equipment and the application of policies, procedures and protocols in the handling of fire related situations. Prerequisite: ETC 111.

ETC 201. Law Enforcement Data System (LEDS). 1 Credit.

Introduces the State of Oregon Law Enforcement Data System, which provides computer databases for state and local law enforcement and the Criminal Justice Information System, interface with national computer systems. Completion of the LEDS Training Guide provides state certification at the Inquiry level. Students must complete a Criminal Background check and be free of any felony or drug related convictions. Prerequisite: ETC 103. Audit available.

ETC 202. Emergency Medical Dispatch Overview. 2 Credits.

Covers Emergency Medical Dispatching including emergency medical pre-arrival instructions to assist the average citizen in stabilizing and in some cases, treating a medical emergency prior to the arrival of trained medical personnel. Includes the delivery, over the telephone, of specific - physician approved - instructions for a variety of common medical emergencies. Prerequisite/Concurrent: EMS 120 or current EMS1st Aid/CPR certification. Audit available.

ETC 203. Tactical Dispatching for High Risk Incidents. 1 Credit.

Introduces the concept of Tactical Dispatching, which involves high risk/low frequency crimes and situations such as kidnappings, hostage situations, and suicidal or mentally unstable callers. Prerequisite ETC 104. Audit Available.

ETC 215. ES Capstone: Emergency Services Hiring Process. 3 Credits.

Covers the creation of a portfolio, documenting course work, activities, education and experience history. Includes the completion of a comprehensive personal history background. Provides discipline specific application process and disciple specific oral interview questions. Audit available. Department permission required.

ETC 280A. Cooperative Education: Emergency TeleCommunicator. 1-6 Credit.

Students earn credit for learning from practical experience at a worksite related to being an Dispatcher/Call Taker. Appropriate work experiences provide opportunities to build and develop skills necessary to be a successful TeleCommunicator/Dispatcher. May be repeated up to 12 credits. Prerequisite: Completion of 8 ETC credit hours and 6 credits of lab hours.