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Emergency Communications Training

It takes approximately one year to become trained as a call taker / dispatcher.


Emergency Communications Training Class

  • Expectations of the Training Program
  • Policy and Procedure
  • Police, Fire, Medical Codes
  • Geography
  • Public Safety Language
  • Computer Aided Dispatch System (CAD)
  • Intrado Viper Phone System
  • Resources
  • Support Services (Police, Fire, Office of Emergency Management)
  • Forms / Intranet
  • National Center for Missing and Exploited Children

Required Certifications

(all courses taught in-house)

  • National Academy of Emergency Dispatch - Emergency Medical Dispatch and Emergency Fire Dispatch- 24 hours
  • CPR - 4 hours
  • Association of Public Safety Communications Officials, International Basic Telecommunicator - 40 hours
  • National Crime Information Center - 16 hours
  • Federal Emergency Management Agency – Incident Command Systems – 4 hours
  • Federal Emergency Management Agency – National Incident Management Systems – 4 hours

Additional Training

There are also daily quizzes, exercises, practical exercise, and a comprehensive final exam (question and answer and practical). Employees must maintain an 85% average throughout the classroom training and pass the final exam with a score of 85 on both the written and practical portions of the exam.

The next step is three months of on-the-job training rotating shifts and Daily Observation Reports. Trainees must maintain two weeks of consistently standard evaluations to be released from training. We have established a standard number of hours in which trainees are required to achieve within each month/discipline of training.

Call taker Trainees: 336 hours. 98 hours of phone training and 14 hours of MSV training each month for three months.

Trainees must attend Human Resources classes:

  • Civil Service Orientation
  • Sexual Harassment
  • Substance Abuse

Approximately three months after being released to the floor, employees attend law enforcement dispatch training.

Law Enforcement Dispatch Training

2 weeks of classroom training

  • Review of all CAD functions and Procedures
  • Motorola Centracom Elite 800Mhz Radio System
  • Procedures specific to dispatch

Daily Quizzes, Exercises, Practical Exercise (with trainers), Comprehensive Final Exam (written and practical).

After final exam

Police Ride Along

The next step is three months of on-the-job training rotating shifts and Daily Observation Reports. Trainees must maintain two weeks of consistently standard evaluations to be released from training.

Law Enforcement Dispatch Trainees: 336 hours. 98 hours of patrol radio training and CW hours of MSV training each month for three months.

Fire Dispatch Training

As a result of consolidation, employees attend Fire Dispatch training after 3½ years of employment and standard performance evaluations.

Employees attend two weeks of classroom training designed with the assistance of the fire department:

  • Introductions by Fire Chiefs to Fire Culture
  • Procedures specific to fire dispatch
  • Computer Aided Dispatch functions specific to dispatch
  • Exercises and written final exam

The day of the final exam is split between testing and a tour of fire stations and introduction to various pieces of equipment and their function.

Two weeks of on-the-job training with at least one of those weeks spent on a shift other than the employee’s regularly assigned shift – for administrative purposes.

Training Officers

  • Must be a Communication Training Officer Certified through Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials (APCO).
  • Attend monthly trainers meetings.
  • Complete Daily Observation Report using the APCO Expectations Software.

Supervisor Training consists of a ten course program offered by Metro Human Resources and created and certified through the University of Tennessee called Metro Management Institute.

Supervisors also attend specialized in-service that focuses on management issues – Family Medical Leave Act, Injured on Duty, Quality Assurance, etc.

In-service Training is conducted monthly and annually.

Monthly self study packets are issued at the first of every month and followed up by a quiz at the end of the month given in roll call. Employees must receive a 70% or higher.

Metro requires all employees to have Sexual Harassment and Substance Abuse Training every three years.

Other topics are covered as the need arises. In previous years, we have covered Weapons of Mass Destruction, equipment updates, ICS, NIMS, and SNS. All employees will be FEMA certified in ICS and NIMS to meet the presidential mandate.

Ongoing Training

Roll Call Training is conducted a minimum of twice a week, and may include policy and procedure, training bulletins, monthly in-service packets/quizzes, issues the shift supervisors has deemed necessary to review, and/or memos/teletypes, etc. from any of our public safety partners.

Training Bulletins highlight any new or changing procedures, forms and/or minor equipment updates.