Online Dispatcher Courses and Schools
Online training for aspiring dispatchers is rare, but you can find a few related courses and certificate programs. Find out how online classes work, and read about potential in-person lab or internship requirements. Explore what you'd learn in courses related to emergency dispatching.
What You Need to Know
Certain schools do offer an online program in public safety telecommunications where you learn skills needed to work as a dispatcher for police, fire, emergency medical services (EMS) or standalone dispatch centers. In online dispatcher courses, you will learn how to fine-tune your communication skills as well as what you legally have a right to say while on the telephone.
|Courses Offered||Emergency Situations, Telecommunications, Other specific non-credit courses|
|Programs||Public Safety Telecommunications, Emergency Dispatch Certificate|
What Online Dispatcher Programs are Available to Me?
Online courses and programs specifically for dispatch training are slim since most schools require that you physically attend the campus during the entire length of the program or course to gain hands-on experience. Some online options include an emergency dispatch certificate or non-credit emergency medical dispatcher courses.
Students who enroll in this program should take care to make sure their school of choice is in good standing and will confer a solid certificate upon completion.
Some schools or organizations with online or partially online programs include:
- APCO International
- The Public Safety Group
- Profile Evaluations, Incorporated
- Arapahoe Community College (Littleton, CO) hybrid program
- St. Petersburg College (St. Petersburg, FL) hybrid program
What Will I Learn in These Courses?
You may also take classes on how to deal with specific emergencies, such as domestic violence, hostage situations, potential suicides or hazardous materials. Depending upon the school, you may also learn about the rising technological advances in telecommunications regarding Global Positioning System (GPS) equipment and computer-aided dispatching. Another important course deals with stress management and how to apply that practice to a dispatching job.
Non-credit online courses may be available to bridge the gap caused by other languages. For instance, callers may speak to you in their native language, which may not be English, and you must know what their emergency is and what course of action to take. During this course, you may learn a few key Spanish words and phrases, for example, to understand the nature of the crisis.
Some other coursework in dispatcher training includes:
- National and state standards for emergency medical dispatchers
- Resource allocation
- Obtaining information from callers
- Quality assurance
How Does Online Learning Work?
Most online dispatching programs are offered asynchronously, allowing you to work at your own pace and schedule. You can post questions to classmates or instructors through online message boards. Before you can finish the program, you may need to complete an off-campus internship, which must be arranged through the school, or participate in an on-campus simulation dispatch lab.