Emergency Services Telecommunicator, is designed to give students the requirements and references required to obtain the job skills necessary for successful employment. Society and communications are becoming increasingly more mobile and accessible. With that mobility, the ability to access 9-1-1 services at any time and in any place has become a constant, and the need for consistent minimum training for the telecommunicator has been recognized by the 9-1-1 community. An Emergency Services Telecommunicator (EST) is a public safety dispatcher or 911 operator whose duties and responsibilities include: answering, receiving, transferring, and dispatching functions related to 911 calls; dispatching law enforcement officers, fire rescue services, emergency medical services, and other public safety services to the scene of an emergency; providing real-time information from federal, state, and local crime databases; supervising or serving as the command officer to a person or persons having such duties and responsibilities.
The Emergency Services Telecommunicator program idea started when Captain Mike Warner from the Lake County Sheriff’s Department approached Auburn Career Center about the need for a training program for dispatchers that is consistent, comprehensive and rigorous that can adequately prepare people to jump into the field of telecommunications at any emergency dispatch center.
A program like this will save local dispatch centers money and time in doing their own onsite training and provide uniformity in the process so that dispatchers are all trained to the same standard. In addition, this program will help provide a pipeline into the career field. Currently there is a shortage of dispatchers in the region. Graduates of the program will earn a certification as an Emergency Service Telecommunicator under section 4742.02 of the Ohio Revised Code and the goal is for this to lead to the state of Ohio requiring the certification for future Telecommunicators as a standardized way of knowing the educational attainment of someone new entering the field.
Auburn’s program is 600 hours and consists of an internship component. Financial aid will be available for students who qualify and Auburn hopes that this will help more students to be able to afford the class. The best part of the project so far has been the collaboration of so many area dispatch centers, sheriff offices and current dispatchers. Representatives from Lake County, Cuyahoga, Ashtabula, and Geauga County have all come together to create the syllabus, the lesson plans, sit on the advisory council for the program, and sign up as teachers and even students of the pilot class so that they can all take an active part in the development of this new class. There are over 20 active advisory members. The pilot, that is running now, is a shortened version of the class and is giving everyone time to really hone in on the details. The program has the support of Lake County’s Clerk of Courts, the Lake County Commissioners and the Lake County Sheriff.
Auburn is proud to be the site for this new program. Our job as a career and technical center is to match up our high school and adult training programs to the need of the local business community. Helping to prepare first responders will benefit everyone. Auburn’s Emergency Services Telecommunicator program will be added to Auburn’s Adult Public Safety programs that include Firefighter 1 & 2, Emergency Medical Technician, Paramedic, Public Safety Academy, Fire Inspector and more.