911 Dispatcher Training Program Begins at Tri-C
November 22, 2016
College develops class given demand from local communities such as Strongsville
A new program developed by the Public Safety Center of Excellence at Cuyahoga Community College (Tri-C®) will address a shortage of dispatchers needed to staff regional emergency call centers.
The five-week training program mixes classroom and hands-on instruction to prepare dispatchers to handle police, fire and emergency medical calls. Graduates will receive two professional dispatching certifications.
The first session of evening classes will begin Monday, Nov. 28, at the KeyBank Public Safety Training Center at Tri-C’s Western Campus.
“We built this center to be an asset to local communities and their police, fire and rescue departments,” said Clayton Harris, vice president of public safety and dean of criminal justice at Tri-C. “If there’s a training need, the College wants to address it.”
Tri-C developed the course in response to a request from the city of Strongsville, which saw the training need after forming the Southwest Emergency Dispatch Center with Berea, Olmsted Falls and North Royalton.
The technology in place at the regional 911 call center demands dispatchers with advanced skills, Strongsville Mayor Tom Perciak said.
“We need individuals who understand how to use these sophisticated systems and multitask in times of high call volume,” Perciak said. “Their abilities may mean the difference between life and death.”
Four dispatchers from the Southwest Regional Dispatch Center will be in the pilot program, which also will include police dispatchers from Cleveland State University and Tri-C’s Campus Police and Security Services. Cost of the initial course will be $400, plus training manuals.
The College plans to offer a second session of classes in the spring, and there is discussion about creating an associate degree program for dispatchers.