Thirty-two seniors in the legal support services and criminal technologies at Sussex Technical High School became the first class to receive Emergency Telecommunicator Certification at the school. Curriculum in the technical area was revamped this year to include instruction on 9-1-1 simulators.
The Emergency Telecommunications course was conducted on a three-position simulation computer lab suite. The first interacting computer allows for student-created scenarios to be called in to the operator. The second computer is tailored to reflect local maps, addresses, logging in of call takers and dispatchers. The third computer allows the student to dispatch out the needed assistance. The state-of-the-art equipment gives students hands-on training in handling emergency situations.
Students then took the ETC exam produced by the National Academy of Emergency Dispatchers. Those achieving a passing score of 80 percent received certification that is valid for two years. The certification allows students to qualify for jobs as 9-1-1 operators.
During celebration ceremonies at the school, Principal Dr. John Demby congratulated students on their achievement. “That piece of paper entitles you to jobs that pay $10 to $15 more per hour than other jobs held by your peers,” he told the students. “Don’t take your accomplishment lightly. It can open doors for you.”
The course was taught by technical teachers Susan Brady and Deangello Eley, who spent two weeks in Virginia in November 2011 learning to use the simulation suite and how to give instruction on it.