HCC launches 911 emergency dispatcher training at Missouri City campus

Oct 7, 2022

Houston Community College has launched a training program to prepare students for work as 911 emergency dispatchers.

The new eight-week public safety certification program for telecommunicators provides the critical skills and knowledge needed for such professionals to answer emergency calls and dispatch fire, police, or emergency medical services units.

The HCC Missouri City Campus houses the new 911 Dispatcher Training Center as part of the HCC Public Safety Center of Excellence. Courses offered seek to address a shortage of emergency dispatchers in the greater Houston area.

“We know there is a national shortage of 911 dispatchers and agencies are looking for skilled professionals able to fill positions immediately,” said Dr. Michael Edwards, HCC Northeast campus president. “Our program is designed to minimize the need for on-the-job training by delivering highly-skilled, job-ready and certified dispatchers into the hiring pipeline at local agencies.”

The program is open to those interested in helping save lives by becoming dispatchers and for current dispatchers seeking to sharpen their professional skills. People who have basic computer, typing and effective communication skills can use those skills as a plus in the new training.

“There are three components to public safety – fire, police, and EMS, and each entity must rely on information provided by 911 dispatchers to respond to emergencies,” said Alvin Collins, HCC public safety dean. “We are excited to launch the only certification the only program of this kind in Texas.”

Topics covered in the training include law enforcement, fire, and EMS emergencies and dispatch, crisis communication, call management, specialized telecommunicator cardiopulmonary resuscitation and legal issues regarding telecommunications. A 911 training lab also allows students to participate in hands-on simulated emergency calls utilizing industry software and to respond as dispatchers using computer, radio and global positioning system technologies.

After course completion, students can take the state exam for the Basic Telecommunicator Certification. Eligible students may qualify to receive a scholarship from the Texas Public Education Grant to offset the tuition cost for the program.

For more information about the program, contact the HCC Public Safety Center of Excellence at 713.718.8370 or https://www.hccs.edu/continuing-education/ce-programs/public-safety-telecommunicator-911-dispatch.

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