A new certificate program that trains people to become public safety dispatchers has opened at the Westminster Campus.

The state Department of Labor and Employment forecasts 209 job openings per year in Colorado for the next eight years. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics sees an 8 percent annual increase in job openings nationally over the next eight years. Entry pay for dispatchers in Colorado averages $36,913, according to the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment. Experienced dispatchers in Colorado earn an average of $53,156.

Police, fire, and ambulance dispatchers typically:

  • Answer 911 emergency telephone and alarm system calls
  • Determine the type of emergency and its location and decide the appropriate response on the basis of agency procedures
  • Relay information to the appropriate first-responder agency
  • Coordinate the dispatch of emergency response personnel to accident scenes
  • Give basic over-the-phone medical instructions before emergency personnel arrive
  • Monitor and track the status of police, fire, and ambulance units
  • Synchronize responses with other area communication centers
  • Keep detailed records of calls

In the spring semester, students will take a five-credit Emergency Dispatching class and a three-credit Emergency Medical Responder class as well as an elective and internship. The internship gives students an immediate look at what the job entails and whether it would be a good fit. It also gives agencies a chance to assess the intern for a possible permanent hire, and the intern to assess the agency.

Other classes in the certificate include Introduction to Criminal Justice, a class in Policing Systems, two psychology classes and electives. People interested in the program should contact Kristy Stearns, program director, for an assessment of academic courses already taken. Contact her at 303-404-5169 or kristy.stearns@frontrange.edu.

A background check is required to enter the program.

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About Front Range Community College

FRCC offers nearly 100 degree and certificate programs from locations in Boulder County, Larimer County, Westminster, and Brighton, and online. FRCC is a member of the Colorado Community College System.

About the Colorado Community College System

The Colorado Community College System (CCCS) is the state’s largest system of higher education, serving more than 137,000 students annually at 13 colleges and 39 locations across Colorado. CCCS’s open access mission ensures that all Coloradans who aspire to enrich their lives have access to quality higher education opportunities. CCCS students save time and money with affordable tuition and fees, concurrent enrollment and guaranteed transfer to any public university in Colorado. Online courses are available via Colorado Community Colleges Online. CCCS also oversees career and technical programs in its 13 colleges, more than 160 school districts and 6 other post-secondary institutions. By partnering with business and industry, CCCS helps employers meet workforce needs and prepares students for direct entry to their chosen career pathway. The vast majority of CCCS students are Colorado residents and, after graduation, 97% of CCCS students stay in state becoming the workforce that powers the Colorado economy and the heart of its neighborhoods, businesses and communities.

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