Gateway's Dispatch Training Provides Solid Foundation
A former student from Sturtevant found work quickly after receiving his certification.
“The simulated training at Gateway definitely helps with multitasking, which is what you need to be able to do as a dispatcher,” he said. He also says the instructors are very knowledgeable and experienced.
Cairns, 30, has an Associates Degree in Criminal Justice from Gateway and was a February 2010 graduate of the first dispatcher training program offered by the school. It was only about three weeks later that he got the job in New Mexico.
Those who complete the training will earn two certifications: The APCO Public Safety Telecommunications Certification, and the United States Department of Homeland Security’s NIMS Incident Command System Certification.
“Absolutely any training a job candidate has will give them a leg up when being considered for a dispatching position” according to Thomas Christensen, Racine County Communications Department Director.
Christensen says candidates who apply for an entry level position in the Joint Dispatch Center currently do not have to have any previous experience or training, but a newly hired Entry Level Dispatcher in Racine County must complete a 10-month training period. There currently are no openings for dispatchers.
Debbie Davidson, Gateway Vice President of the Workforce and Economic Development Division, says, “Many dispatch agencies across the State have contacted Gateway about this training, and are seeking trained employment candidates.”
Robin Hoke, Gateway Workforce and Economic Development Division Specialist, said students have hands on training using the latest technology simulating the dispatch center environment.
"They are aware of the work environment and will have the capability to perform the Dispatcher job,” she added.
She says the program provides a basic foundation for people interested in the field of Public Safety Telecommunications. The curriculum exposes the student to 9-1-1, phone, radio- and computer-aided dispatch concepts, including scenario and simulator based training. The GTC program meets the APCO and National Emergency Number Association standard, which sets a national standard for minimum training for public safety telecommunicators.
The training includes two courses to be completed from June sixth through the 25th, and costs $659 including a $100 mandatory testing fee.