COLLIER COUNTY — The Collier County Sheriff’s Office has expanded a special academy to inspire young adults to get into 911 dispatching.
CCSO has partnered with Lorenzo Walker Technical College to establish a Public Safety Telecommunicator Training Program. Students who have graduated high school and are enrolled at LWTC are eligible for the free training program.
The training program will follow the same curriculum as the CCSO Public Safety Career Academy which trains high-school students as 911 dispatchers in the hope they will choose to make dispatching a career at CCSO. CCSO launched the academy in June in partnership with The Immokalee Foundation. The 11 graduates spent six weeks accumulating the 232 hours of training needed to earn state certification to become 911 dispatchers. Four of the graduates recently completed the hiring process and are slated to start their careers as CCSO dispatchers on Aug. 31, 2021.
Sheriff Kevin Rambosk said it made sense to expand dispatcher training opportunities after the success of the academy.
“Our dispatchers play a critical role in our agency’s mission to keep Collier County a great place and a safe place,” Sheriff Kevin Rambosk said. “We are looking to train the next generation of dispatchers to perform this crucial job 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.”
The LWTC program will run from Aug. 25 to Feb. 10. It includes training on a state-based curriculum where the adult learners will learn everything from where the first 911 call was made to the various responsibilities of a call taker and radio dispatcher. The students will also learn about basic law enforcement, EMS, fire service, and emergency management principles.
The students also will tour the CCSO 911 Communications Center, CCSO Special Operations and Aviation hangar as well as the Collier County Emergency Operations Center. They also will participate in agency ride-alongs and hear presentations from CCSO Road Patrol deputies, CCSO Technical Bureau members and representatives from Collier County Emergency Medical Services and Greater Naples Fire Rescue District.
Upon completion of the program, the students will take a state exam in order to obtain their Public Safety Telecommunicator Certification through the Florida Department of Health. In addition, the students will be eligible to begin a career with CCSO and start their on the job training to become full time dispatchers with a starting salary of $18.02 an hour with full benefits.