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Hi All,

New dispatcher here who is going to attend the next dispatcher academy. Can anybody tell me what to expect? I'm very curious about it and can't really find any info on it...anyone here going?
 

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Dispatcher77 said:
Hi All,

New dispatcher here who is going to attend the next dispatcher academy. Can anybody tell me what to expect? I'm very curious about it and can't really find any info on it...anyone here going?
I heard its 911, APCO Basic, APCO EMD, and a bunch of APCO add-on's, like Suicude, hostage, and other specialized calls....
5 weeks. I think its held at the office in Taunton, not sure. But good luck!
(Ive taken the APCO Basic / APCO EMD, they're very good IMO if you've never dispatched before, it may be a little more dificult to grasp new techniques if you already are experienced, but still some very good things, and the EMD is a great tool to have, you feel less "useless" on those med calls when you're waiting 15 minutes for a rescue on a full-code...") (Also, 911 is a 16 hr class, to teach you 3 hours of information)
 

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Here ya go

40 Hour Basic Public Safety Telecommunicator course and certification
16 Hour Massachusetts E911 course and certification
8 Hour CPR certification
24 Hour EMD course and certification
12 Hours CJIS LEAPS Full Access certification
32 Hours Emergency Call Handling Techniques and Simulations
16 Hours Basic Police Dispatch course and certification
24 Hours Basic Fire Dispatch course and certification
8 Hours Basic Criminal Law for Telecommunicators
4 Hours Hazardous Materials and WMD Incident Management
4 Hours Suicide Prevention
4 Hours state & specialized resources
192 Hours -last day of class committed to graduation total hours 200
 

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Who holds this course is it APCO? I have never heard of it but it sounds interesting if someone could get me a link for it or other info on it. Also has any one gone through the course I have done Basic APCO and Powerphone EMD both good but should have gone sooner I was thinking about for new dispatchers before they are on the desk any thoughts?
 

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USMCMP5811 said:
Hmmmmmm...... you'd think that they would at least make the training even.....If you work in a Dept that is a combined Police/Fire dispatch center, you work the police side a hell of a lot more, but then again, what do I know.......8-O
Yes, while you work the police side more than fire, anywhere from 50-95% could be pd, ALL fire calls are emergencies, whereas probably 75% of PD calls are not true emergencies, just calls for service.
Much of the FD trining is for responder-safety, making sure they dont rush into a "smoke condition" when there's really a hazmat burning.
FD dispatchers NEED to have some clue about how fire service works, but minimal LE training is needed to dispatch pd. Not realizing the danger of Potassium Iodine is slightly more important than a LE operator knowing Terry v Ohio....
People die when FD dispatchers gaff up calls....

That's how it was taught in APCO basic dispatch.... That being said, I have a lot of FD experience, and grew up in an LE enviroment, and have a CRJ degree. I dont know how people come onto this job having NO clue about either and make it. Knowing what an officer wants for info on a traffic stop and why, knowing when to send 2 units not just one, and how to properly word things in the log are just a few little things that you just NEED to know to be a good dispatcher. Can't send one truck to a building fire, cant send one officer to a domestic... but MaryJane who was an operator for Verizon can't come work in a PSAP and get it...
 

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To answer the originaly question:

I attended the dispatch academy this summer. It wasn't too bad, but there still tweaking it. Some of the instructors are great, but some are boring as hell. Now keep in mind, my department is Police dispatch ONLY so i didn't need to pay too much attention to the fire dispatch aspects or the EMD, the funny thing is though, the fire segments are the most interesting. When you start the academy, they tell you that the classes will go the full length of each day, but more than half the time, they never do. Classes typically go for 6 hours each day. Just don't tell your department :-$ All together, your gonna take about 2 weeks of good knowledge from the entire 5 weeks, but it will help you out if your a new dispatcher and give you a foundation, or it will give you some extra tools for your tool box if your a seasoned dispatcher.
 

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i think the Dispatcher Academy should be mandatory for any municipality that has 50,000 citizens or more. Psychological screening, at a minimum, the MMPI, should also be mandatory. Some people that are hired as dispatchers pose a potential danger to police and fire fighters because of their lack of common sense and inability to keep cool under pressure. By the way, why don't you Dispatchers form some type of state or county wide organization to advocate for you ???? Similar to the M.P.A. - Maybe they will branch out to represent you if you can get together as a common unit. Legislation that could benefit you could then be devised and pushed..
 
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I attended the dispatch academy several years ago. It was a great experience, you will network with many people from all different departments. If you have no experience I would say that you will take away a lot of information, and if you have experience you will learn at least 1 new thing. Even if you do not dispatch for both police and fire you will learn a lot about what a fire dept goes through to get to and through a call, the same for police. I would recommend everyone attend, experience or not.
 

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In my mind the best part of the dispatch academy was being able to attain all the necessary certifications in a short period of time, instead of having to go to Reading for one class, and then Waltham for another class three weeks later. I think that I learned more in one week of "on the job" training than in the 5 weeks I spent there. However I attended back in January of 2002. I would expect that they have made some changes since then.
 
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