Central Communications, a Dispatcher’s Work Environment

The South Florida State College (SFSC) Criminal Justice Academy is offering its new Public Safety Communication program in fall 2018.

The Public Safety Communication program prepares students for a career as a Public Safety Telecommunicator (PST) who are the first, first responders in emergency situations. The role of a PST is vital to a community and SFSC’s program will train students for civilian employment as a dispatcher (police, fire, and emergency medical telecommunicator) who operates telephones, radios, and computer terminals to respond to emergency and non-emergency requests for assistance.

“At SFSC, we listen to the community and heard that there was a need for more dispatchers throughout the region,” said Curtis Ivy, director of the Criminal Justice Academy at SFSC. “To meet that need, we analyzed the programs we have in place and the capabilities of our experienced faculty, so we applied and received certification from the State of Florida to present the Public Safety Communication program. Similar to our lineman, elementary education, and mechatronics programs, we believe that this program will fill a void in the tri-county area.”

Throughout the intensive program, students will spend more than 200 hours learning about ethics and the role of the PST; standard operating procedures; the PST’s relationship to field personnel; an overview of emergency agencies; communications equipment and functions; proper and correct telephone and dispatching procedures and techniques; federal, state, and local communication rules; emergency situations and operating procedures; and human relations skills.

Courses are taught by certified PSTs and meet the educational requirements for the Florida Department of Health’s 911 Emergency Dispatcher Certification.

For more information about the Public Safety Communication program, contact Michael Austin, coordinator of SFSC’s criminal justice program, at 863-784-7282 or michael.austin@southflorida.edu.