911 and Public Safety Communications

Emergency communications professionals, including 911 dispatchers, provide a calm and reassuring presence to those experiencing a crisis and serve as a vital link relaying information to police, fire and paramedics. Fanshawe’s 911 and Public Safety Communications program provides students with the foundational knowledge and specialized communication skills required to work in the highly demanding and unpredictable field of public safety communications. This hands-on and comprehensive program One-year certificate

Get field experience to become a 911 dispatcher - 2022/2023

In line with current industry standards, this one-year certificate program features a hands-on and comprehensive curriculum covering crisis communications, incident management, applicable legislation and personal health and wellness.

You will get comfortable using state-of-the art Intergraph® Computer-Aided Dispatch (CAD) software while processing and dispatching simulated emergency calls in our realistic emergency telecommunications lab. 

You’ll also have the opportunity to attend several complete a six-week field placements throughout the year, completing your learning with a six-week placement in the spring semester

Program Overview

It is recommended that applicants have previous keyboarding experience as students are required to meet a keyboarding competency of 40 words per minute to complete the program. 

Applicants must successfully complete Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS) certification prior to the start of the field placement component of the program (approximately Week 2).

Placement agencies reserve the right to conduct criminal record and/or background checks prior to allowing a student to participate in field placement with the agency. They also reserve the rights to deny a student access to a field placement and not disclose the reason(s) for denying access to their facility.

Students who are unable to pass a Criminal Record and Judicial Matters Check (CRJMC) sector check will be denied access to field placement and will receive a failing grade in the Field Experience course.

 
Career Information

Fanshawe’s 911 and Public Safety Communications program provides the academic and practical skills needed to work in the highly demanding and dynamic emergency services (e.g., police, fire and emergency medical services) and related fields.)

Did you know Fanshawe consistently ranks high in graduation employment rates among large colleges in Ontario?

Here are some examples of career opportunities for graduates of Fanshawe’s 911 and Public Safety Communications program:

Police Communications Operator
Provide communications services, receiving and responding to emergency/non-emergency calls to deploy police emergency services.

Fire Communications Operator
Provide communications services, receiving and responding to emergency/non-emergency calls to deploy fire emergency services.

Ambulance Communications Operator
Provide communications services, receiving and responding to emergency/non-emergency calls to deploy medical emergency services.

Security Operator
Monitor alarms and provide communication services to maintain security and safety of people and buildings.

Logistics Operator
Provide planning and communications services for trucking, towing or transfer services.

Army Communication and Information Systems

Provide fast and reliable wired and wireless communication and information systems using leading edge voice and data systems.

 

Photo of Jordan McManus

I took the Emergency Telecommunications program at Fanshawe College and would take it a second time if I could. This program is very interactive and hands on and the instructors have professional experience in the emergency services industry. When enrolled in the program you will be involved with local and surrounding 911 and public safety agencies. I am currently employed with the Strathroy-Caradoc Police Service and would 100 per cent recommend the Emergency Telecommunications program to anyone!

Jordan McManus
Emergency Telecommunications graduate 2017
 

 

Learning Outcomes
  1. Process emergency calls in accordance with policies, procedures and quality assurance practices;
  2. Demonstrate professional communication skills in the processing of emergency calls;
  3. Use emergency telecommunications systems and applications to process emergency calls and conduct basic troubleshooting as necessary;
  4. Apply crisis management techniques when processing emergency calls to ensure a rapid and adequate response to the event while maintaining clear lines of reporting and communication;
  5. Prepare and maintain documentation (e.g., reports, notes) that meets professional standards for emergency services;
  6. Apply strategies to manage personal health and wellness within an emergency services environment;
  7. Apply knowledge of legislation, legal issues and ethics within the execution of duties of an emergency telecommunicator;
  8. Relate the functions, concepts and principles of the incident management system to the role of the emergency telecommunicator to facilitate effective communication;
  9. Process calls in compliance with the industry standards for police, fire and medical emergencies;
  10. Apply map reading skills using available physical and digital resources to provide navigational direction to emergency responders.

 

Program Availability

Canadian Students

Start Dates
Locations
Availability

Full Time Offerings

2022 September
London
Open

International Students

Start Dates
Locations
Availability

Full Time Offerings

2022 September
London
Open

Program Details

Program Code
PSC1

Program Coordinator:

Tracy Dietrich

Delivery
Day Time
Full-Time
Credential
Ontario College Certificate
Duration
36 weeks

Admission Requirements

OSSD with courses from the College (C), University (U),
University/College (M), or Open (O) stream WITH:
- English ONE OF:
     - Any Grade 12 English (C) (minimum final grade required is 75) 
     - Any Grade 12 English (U) (minimum final grade required is 65)
OR
An Ontario College Certificate from Fanshawe College in Public Safety Fundamentals with a minimum final grade of B+ in WRIT-1089 and minimum grade of C+ in the remaining courses
OR
Academic and Career Entrance Certificate (ACE) WITH:
- Communications
  (Note: minimum final grade required is 75) 
OR
Ontario High School Equivalency Certificate (GED) WITH:
- The combined Language Arts - Reading AND Language Arts - Writing test results having a minimum average Standard Score of 560
OR
Mature Applicant with standing in the required course and grade stated above

Competitive Programs
This is a competitive program; the number of qualified applicants exceeds the number of seats available. Please see www.fanshawec.ca/hcp for details. 
English Language Requirements

English Language Requirements

Applicants whose first language is not English will be required to demonstrate proficiency in English by one of the following methods:

  • A Grade 12 College Stream or University Stream English credit from an Ontario Secondary School, or equivalent, depending on the program's Admission Requirements
  • Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) test with a minimum score of 79 for the Internet-based test (iBT), with test results within the last two years
  • International English Language Testing System (IELTS) Academic test with an overall score of 6.0 with no score less than 5.5 in any of the four bands, with test results within the last two years. SDS Program Requirements. 
  • Canadian Academic English Language (CAEL) test with a score of 70 in writing, reading and speaking and a score of 80 in listening, with test results within the last two years
  • Pearson Test of English Academic (PTE) with a minimum score of 53, with test results within the last two years
  • A Cambridge English Test (FCE/CAE/CPE) with an overall score on the Cambridge English Scale of 169 with no language skill less than 162, with test results within the last two years
  • An English Language Evaluation (ELE) at Fanshawe College with a minimum score of 75% in all sections of the test, with test results within the last two years
  • Fanshawe College ESL4/GAP5 students: Minimum grade of 75% in ESL4/GAP5 Level 10
Applicant Selection Criteria

Applicant Selection Criteria

Where the number of eligible applicants exceeds the available spaces in the program, the Applicant Selection Criteria will be:
  1. Preference for Permanent Residents of Ontario
  2. Receipt of Application by February 1st (After this date, Fanshawe College will consider applicants on a first-come, first-served basis until the program is full)
  3. Achievement in the Admission Requirements
Post-Admission Requirements

Post-Admission Requirements

The following items are applicable to the program and are time sensitive.

  • Possession of a Standard First Aid course certificate (either St. John Ambulance or Canadian Red Cross or equivalent) and a Basic Rescuer course certificate (Level "C" CPR)
  • Police Record Check and Vulnerable Sector Screening; a clear criminal record and Judicial Matters Check will be considered sufficient in the event a student is unable to obtain the Vulnerable Sector Screen due to agency policy. 
  • Mask Fit Testing
  • Placement Agreement

Tuition Summary

London

Canadian Costs
$4,287.68
Total Cost of Program
International Costs
$15,641.20
Total Cost of Program

*Total program costs are approximate, subject to change and do not include the health and dental plan fee, bus pass fee or program general expenses.

 

Courses

Level 1
Take all of the following Mandatory Courses:
COMM-1136Public Safety Communications3
This course introduces students to various communications agencies and members of the public safety team. An overview of different law enforcement agencies, fire and rescue agencies and paramedic service providers (emergency medical services) will be provided, including structure of local governance and the diversity of communities being served. The importance of policies and procedures will be emphasized, including quality assurance and call-taking protocols such as those being used in TELE1025.
TELE-1025Call Processing & Procedure-Intro2.5
In this course students will learn to process calls for Police, Fire and EMS, recording incident details and reports while applying effective interview and interrogation techniques as well as triage and call categorization protocols. Confirmation of locations through computer-integrated and paper mapping while maintaining a client-centered approach with a diverse caller base for both emergent and non-emergent situations will be emphasized. Students will have hands on experience with current public safety communications technologies, including Hexagon Intergraph® Computer-Aided Dispatch. At the end of this course, students will be prepared for the level two labs (TELE3014, TELE3015, TELE3016).
LAWS-1083Legal Issues & Documentation3
Students will be introduced to the concepts of liability, confidentiality, negligence and duty within the profession. Applicable legislations for public safety and privacy laws will be discussed, including Freedom of Information Act requirements, and the importance of records retention, court preparation and accurate documentation.
TELE-1026Public Safety Communications Technology1.5
This course will introduce students to various telephony technologies and the underlying infrastructure for 911 service including ANI/ALI, wireless systems and NG911. Telematics, GPS, computerized mapping systems and logging recorders, as well as their involvement with computer-aided dispatch (CAD) systems will be discussed. Students will use radio technology to understand radio discipline and communication techniques, the basics of the Radio Act and identify common malfunctions and coverage variance between system types. At the end of this course students will understand the management of calls as it relates to public safety hardware and software, preparing them for all level two lab classes (TELE3014, TELE3015, TELE3016).
COMM-1137Interpersonal Communications2
In this course, students will be introduced to various communication techniques for dealing with a diverse client base in public safety communications. Topics will include active listening and response skills, the influence of perception on communication, problem solving, critical thinking and control techniques. Through application and personal reflection, students will use patience and compassion when dealing with interpersonal needs and barriers to intercultural communication. At the end of this course students will be prepared to move onto Crisis Communications - COMM3086.
HLTH-1282Health & Wellness 12
Students will be introduced to various aspects of stress including stress management strategies for shift work and personal wellness. Topics will include the definition and causation of stress, as well as how to identify stress in oneself and in others. This course involves ideas of changes to prevent and relieve stress, as well as developing resiliency. This course will prepare students to move on to HLTH3063.
HLTH-1283Pre-Hospital Care & Medical Terminology2
Processing calls for emergency medical assistance requires an understanding of the various human body systems, as well as how signs and symptoms relate to common medical ailments through their physiological roots. These relationships will be defined using medical terminology that is essential for communication and documentation of emergency medical calls. This course will also provide an overview of the Emergency Medical Services structure in Ontario, including paramedic provider care levels and the role of base hospital.
FLDP-3042Field Observation 11.4
During this course students will observe both the role of the public safety communicator and their interactions with front line personnel in various public safety environments. This experience requires students to be professional and adhere to each host agency's policies and procedures while maintaining confidentiality. Students will engage in group discussions and debriefings as well as self-reflective practice while making the connection from classroom simulation to real life events.
View all courses

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