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Answering the Call: Training Students for the Critical Role of 9-1-1 Dispatchers

Answering the Call: Training Students for Critical Roles as 911 Dispatchers

New certification provides more opportunity for our Criminal Justice students and helps support the critical need for emergency dispatch personnel.

We're constantly evolving our programs to meet the needs of our community. This year, our Criminal Justice program added a new skill set and credential to address the urgent need for skilled 911 dispatchers – the unsung heroes who play a pivotal role in emergency response. As society faces an increasing demand for these essential professionals, our program focuses on equipping students with the necessary skills and resilience for this vital job.

The role of a 911 dispatcher is fast-paced and demanding, requiring individuals to handle a range of crises, from medical emergencies to criminal incidents. Our program ensures that students not only gain technical proficiency and certification but also develop the emotional intelligence needed to provide calm and effective guidance during distressing situations. To earn the NECC (National Emergency Communications Certification), students practice on a customized 9-1-1 Call Taking and Radio Dispatch Simulator, providing full-blown emergency simulations that give students many hours of realistic experience in the variety of situations they will face. Professional Pride, Inc., the partner that provides our simulation service, prepared this training course as an answer to the hiring crises communities across the country are facing. Hiring qualified career tech graduates who understand the work, are trained, evaluated, and certified saves Comm Center budgets and stress.

The significance of 911 dispatchers cannot be overstated. They are the first point of contact in emergencies, coordinating response efforts and ensuring the right help arrives promptly. As societal challenges evolve, the demand for skilled dispatchers continues to rise, making this skill set increasingly relevant.

By choosing our Criminal Justice program, students will not only train to become dispatchers; they will also learn all about the criminal justice system, get hands-on training in a variety of skills, practice physical training, and discover which career pathway option inspires them the most. Many of our graduates become the backbone of emergency services, offering comfort and assistance and ultimately saving lives.

Last month, we invited community partners ranging from local hospitals and county police to the State Highway Patrol to join us to meet our students and watch them in action on the simulator. The guests were impressed with the professionalism, poise and skillset of our students and excited for the potential this training offers! In addition to learning about the 9-1-1 Call Taking and Dispatch Simulator, the meeting allowed us to share about Work-Based Learning, Cadet Internships, Ride-A-Long opportunities, and so much more. We are thankful for our partners helping to support our programming and value their collaboration. 

Program Instructor Jeff Piper is dedicated to helping his students answer the call to become the lifeline of our communities. Knowing that as his students graduate and step into their roles as 911 dispatchers, heading into the military, private security, college, or their own unique journey, they are ready to make a positive difference in the world!

If you have any questions about the Criminal Justice program don't hesitate to contact Instructor Jeff Piper: jeff.piper@mywccc.org

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