1. #1
    Junior Member

    Join Date
    May 2005

    Default Advanced Training

    Wonder what y'all think of some of the various training programs out there such as Powerphone, APCO, NAEMD, etc. Am looking around for courses to apply for.
    I am a newly hired airport police/fire dispatcher but have over 24 years experience as a firefighter.

    North Pole, Alaska

  2. #2
    Forum Member
    MrJim911's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2002


    APCO has very good training classes. Their degree programs through Jackosnville State University are SUPERB.

    Powerphone has been getting some bad reviews lately, but in my experience with them it all depends on how good the instructor is.

    NAEMD is just for EMD. I think their EMD program is the best out there.

    PSTC is also a great training organization.

  3. #3
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    May 2005


    I am 911 dispatcher who works for a smaller department in the rural Midwest. We handle all aspects of dispatching and any job someone else in the county does not seem able to complete. We are everything from the call taker, dispatcher, file processor, warrant department, bond collection agent, secretarial pool, evidence clerk, visit clerk and at times have even filled in as jail EMT and jail matron! After all these years, I still find myself amazed at what duties the county thinks a dispatcher can do while waiting for the next moment of chaos to arrive.

    I think all the programs out there have the advantages and their disadvantages. You need to have a program that your management and government agency will support. If they only buy into the program as a one-time investment, then no matter what program you decide on will fail.

    In our agency we run with Medical Priority Dispatch System (MPDS). It is a fight with the county government every time there is an output for the latest upgrade to the system and there is never enough money in the training budget to get all the dispatchers the required continuing education that the program requires. The county thinks this is a cheep price to pay for the legal security and support of MPDS with their legal expertise when something goes wrong and we end up in court. What those making the choices on this low dollar investment into any EMD program donít understand is, the company will come in and audit our records. IF we fail to meet ALL their requirements, they are released from their legal contract to support us legal through the courts.

    When the dispatcherís records are pulled and they cannot produce the documentation needed to meet the requirements of the program, they will be sitting across the table testifying against the agency that thought they invested in their support. Buying any EMD program is a commitment to an aggressive training program, a solid Quality Assurance (QA) program, and regular personal performance evaluation of each dispatcher on a set schedule.

    Those in a position of supervision and control of the communication center donít have a good understanding of this concept; your training will be nothing more then just a notch on your training record. BUT you get the backing you need, you will find that these programs offer a security for the agency as well as those who work within the center. Great continuing education

    If you are doing the training for yourself. On your own time and money, there is never a bad training class. Everything you learn will come into play some day down the road. The more you train the more nature those good educated choices will happen. And if you are doing this on your own, more power to you!! Keep a personal copy of your training and a copy in your file at work.

    Good luck in your training!


  4. #4
    MembersZone Subscriber
    Dickey's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2000


    My personal preference is Priority Dispatch. Medical Priority or their fire package (can't remember the name) seems to be the best. Lot's of the bigger cities use Medical Priority for their EMS dispatch.

    Powerphone just doesn't seem to go as in depth or be as user friendly. Your knowledge and experience as a firefighter will be called upon greatly.
    Jason Knecht
    Township Fire Dept., Inc.
    Eau Claire, WI

    IACOJ - Director of Cheese and Whine

  5. #5
    MembersZone Subscriber

    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Ocala Florida, USA


    Priority Dispatch now has an EFD (Emergency Fire Dispatcher) and EPD (Emergency Police Dispatcher) to go along with the EMD. Our department is in the process of going to EFD. They bought into it last year, but did not realize that Operations was going to have to work with us to develop the response modes, but thats a different story.

    APCO and Priority Dispatch have a 40 Basic Telecomunicator Course that teaches all the basic stuff, which is required by our department (Marion County Fire Rescue//Florida). There is an excellent incident dispather class for the development of incident dispatcher...yes dispatchers that can go to major incidents and help at the command post.

    APCO also has a Certified Training Officer course that teaches you how to train, and also how to set up a training program for those departments that do not have one. Our trainers have to be certified through APCO

    We are a small dispatch, 16 dispatchers when fully staffed. We have backing from our department and have been able to develop a training program. Our new employees take a 120 hour training class. 80 hours that deals with the department, geography, zones, apparatus, unit numbers, all that stuff that is better taught in a classroom atmosphere; and a 40 basic telecommunicator course, either APCO or Priority Dispatch. We then have a phased training program, 4 phases, each 4 weeks long. The trainee has to learn tasks and graduate to the next phase. Each trainee is trained by a Certified Training Officer, daily reports are filled out, and if the trainee is unable to correctly accomplish the tasks outlined they receive remedial training. If they are still unable to perform the tasks training in terminated.

    And then we have the opportunity to take other classes, whether its through APCO, Priority Dispatch, Fire College, or others, and the county will re-imburse,if they can.

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