Beginning with the spring 2013 semester, Illinois Central College will offer a 9-1-1 Telecommunicator Certificate Program. The 15-credit hour certificate is the first of its kind in downstate Illinois.
The program is aimed at preparing students to enter 9-1-1 telecommunicator positions in the community upon completion of five core classes, including a 150-hour internship in criminal justice. Students will receive an introduction to the criminal justice system and will learn the fundamentals of call taking and dispatching emergency calls for the police, fire and EMS departments. Required courses will include Introduction to Criminal Justice, Criminal Law, 9-1-1 Telecommunicator Part I, 9-1-1 Telecommunicator Part II, and an internship.
ICC’s Public Services Coordinator Michelle Weghorst said local law enforcement officials approached the College in the spring of 2011 with the need for a local program. ICC faculty, 9-1-1 personnel and local police chiefs then assembled an advisory board to identify if a need existed for training in the area.
“We researched the need for the training and whether any other community colleges offered such a program and found that only a few community colleges in northern Illinois offered any training like this,” she said. “We felt strongly that ICC, as a community college, is here to provide that training and education.”
David Tuttle, manager of the City of Peoria’s Emergency Communications Center and ICC’s instructor for the 9-1-1 courses, said the program will help fill a tremendous demand in the area, in light of several area 9-1-1 telecommunicators opting for early retirement this year.
“We have been working for more than six months to fill the vacancies left by the retirements,” he said. “The need is great, and since the 9-1-1 telecommunicators are the first responders to all emergencies, this job is so critical to the community.”
For more information on the upcoming program, please contact the Criminal Justice Program on ICC’s North Campus, at (309) 690-7691.