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National College Credit Recommendation Service

Board of Regents  |  University of the State of New York

Communications - Dispatch Operations

Descriptions and credit recommendations for all evaluated learning experiences

Length:

Version 1: 187 hours (3 weeks). Version 2: 262 hours (4 weeks). Version 3: 225 hours (6 weeks). Version 4: 300 hours (8 weeks). Version 5: 375 hours (10 weeks).

Dates:

Version 1: January 2002 - January 2007. Version 2: February 2007 - February 2012. Version 3: March 2012 - June 2016. Version 4: July 2016 - May 2021. Version 5: June 2021 - Present.

Objectives:

Version 1: Upon successful completion of the course, students will be able to: discuss the concept of emergency medical dispatch (EMD); apply the technology used to operate an EMD program; display quality assurance; and perform emergency medical dispatching. Version 2 and 3: Additionally, students will be able to: rapidly and efficiently answer and triage 911 assignments; offer each assignment for ambulance dispatch; apply effective communication techniques; discuss the role of the Emergency Communications Center within the 911 system; and discuss the role of the communications professional within the 911 system.Version 4 and 5: Students will be able to: will be able to accurately and expeditiously enter a request for emergency assistance; properly utilize the various commands and techniques specific to 911 call processing, such as location verification procedures, telephone triage, and pre arrival instructions for the caller/patient; correctly use the medical Algorithm designed by the FDNY Office of Medical Affairs, which assists with a detailed, but a brief line of questioning to arrive at the correct call type to ensure the appropriate ambulance response (ALS, BLS, or BOTH).

Instruction:

Version 1, 2, and 3: Major topics include: emergency medical dispatch models; technological components to EMD; customer service relations; EMD policy; and procedure issues. Methods of instruction include lecture, classroom exercises, A/V materials and computer-assisted instruction. Evaluation methods include quizzes, final reports and instructor evaluations.Version 4 and 5: The Assignment Receiving Dispatcher is not just entering calls for emergencies,  they are taught about the importance of para-language. The callers tone, voice inflection, and how the caller answers the questions are all clues as to what is going on at that location.  ARD students will be able to evaluate the entire call; recognize not only what is being said, but what is not being said; differentiate the background noises to determine if there is something on the scene that might be a safety hazard to the crew, the caller and the public; and paraphrase all of this information for the dispatcher and the responding EMS crew.  

Credit recommendation:

Version 1: In the lower division baccalaureate/associate degree category, OR associate/certificate degree category, 3 semester hours in Emergency Medical Services, or Fire Science and Emergency Management (12/03 - reviewed by the American Council on Education). Version 2: In the lower division baccalaureate/associate degree category, OR in the upper division baccalaureate degree category, 4 semester hours in Emergency Medical Services or Fire Science and Emergency Management (10/07). Version 3: In the lower division baccalaureate/associate degree category, OR in the upper division baccalaureate degree category, 5 semester hours in Emergency Medical Services, Fire Science and Emergency Management, or Communications (6/11 revalidation). Version 4: In the lower division bacalaureate/associate degree category, OR in the upper division baccalaureate degree category, 6 semester hours in Emergency Medical Services, Fire Science, and Emergency Management or Communications (7/16 revalidation). Version 5: In the lower division baccalaureate/associate degree category, OR in the upper division baccalaureate degree category, 6 semester hours in Emergency Medical Services, Fire Science, and Emergency Management or Communications (6/21 revalidation).

Length:

Version 1, 2 and 3: 300 hours (8 weeks). Version 4: 375 hours (10 weeks).

Dates:

Version 1: January 2002 - January 2007. Version 2: February 2007 - May 2011. Version 3: June 2011- May 2021. Version 4: June 2021 - Present.

Objectives:

Version 1 and 2: Upon successful completion of the course, students will be able to: process a 911 emergency medical call rapidly and efficiently dispatch the closest, most appropriate ambulance for the 911 assignment. Version 3 and 4: Version 1 and 2, additionally;  simultaneously administer and handle call assignments, maintain the status of vehicles, prioritize calls between the callers, and responding units; discuss the role of the communications professional within the 911 system; identify and coordinate the proper agency response to multiple casualty/large scale incidents (including terrorism and weapons of mass destruction events); and coordinate a mutual aid response. 

Instruction:

Version 1, 2, 3, or 4: Major topics include: terminology and dispatcher, unit identifier and the dispatch screen, The dispatch monitor and marquee, primary dispatch commands, secondary dispatch commands, database inquiries, error messages, deferring dispatching, radio etiquette, radio air time, accident procedure review, system interrupt procedures and review, and MCI procedures and protocol. Methods of instruction include: lecture, projects, presentation, teamwork, video, interactive computer, etc. Methods of evaluation include quizzes, final reports and instructor evaluations.  

Credit recommendation:

Version 1: In the lower division baccalaureate/associate degree category or associate/certificate degree category, 3 semester hours in Emergency Medical Services, or Fire Science and Emergency Management (12/03 - reviewed by the American Council on Education). Version 2: In the lower division baccalaureate/associate degree category OR in the upper division baccalaureate degree category, 4 semester hours in Emergency Medical Services or Fire Science and Emergency Management (10/07). Version 3: In the lower division baccalaureate/associate degree category OR in the upper division baccalaureate degree category, 5 semester hours in Emergency Medical Services, Fire Science and Emergency Management, or Communications (6/11 revalidation) (7/16 revaldiation). Version 4: In the lower division baccalaureate/associate degree category, OR in the upper division baccalaureate degree category, 6 semester hours in Emergency Medical Services, Fire Science and Emergency Management, or Communications (6/21 revalidation).

Length:

112.5 hours (3 weeks). 

Dates:

April 2016 - Present.

Objectives:

Upon successful completion of this course, students will effectively function in the role of EMD Citywide Dispatchers who oversee EMS activities throughout the city as a whole rather than a part or the whole of a borough and pay particular attention to potential high- profile assignments. Students will be able to successfully deal with both static and dynamic events which occur on a daily basis, and based on EMD policy and procedure ensure that the proper resources are assigned to handle events.  Examples of static incidents include planned events such as New Year’s Eve in Times Square, NYC Marathon etc.  while dynamic events include fires, bus accidents, building collapses etc.  Based on information received from other agencies and in consultation with EMS resources in the field, students will be able to assign additional ambulance and specialty resources as needed and/or requested such as Major Emergency Response Vehicles, Mobile Respiratory Therapy Units, Hazardous Materials specialty Officers and EMS Chief Officers.  Students also serve as liaisons with outside agencies such as the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, the Port Authority and other NYC agencies.

Instruction:

Instruction for the class includes both lecture and practical portions with written exams to assess retention of knowledge.  Following the lecture portion is the practical portion with lasts approximately 2 weeks to assess the skills of the students in handling assignments. Prerequisites:  EMD Assignment Receiving Dispatcher (EMD-ARD) (COM 200); EMD Radio Dispatcher (EMD-RD) (COM 201); and EMD Decision Dispatcher (COM 205).

Credit recommendation:

In the upper division baccalaureate degree category, 5 semester hours in Public Safety Communication, Communication, EMS, EMS Administration, Management, or Operations Management (7/17). 

Length:

37.5 hours (1 week). 

Dates:

March 2016 - Present. 

Objectives:

Upon successful completion of this course, students will have greater knowledge of FDNY Bureau of Communications Emergency Medical Dispatch radio policies and procedures that enable them to analyze resource availability and make decisions based on call volume, unit availability and response time in their borough of responsibility as to the dynamic redeployment of available ambulance resources.  Students will have the responsibility to ensure that appropriate notifications are made to other agencies (NYPD, FDNY Operations etc. regarding current conditions affecting EMS response to assignments.  Students also monitor off-service units to ensure a timely return to availability.  They are tasked with reviewing and cancelling duplicate assignments and assignments that have not yet been dispatched to assess the need for an ambulance response for instances where patients have left the location, does not require an ambulance or was transported to the hospital via other means.  These tasks enable Decision Dispatchers to have an impact on response time and resource availability.

Instruction:

Instruction for the class includes both lecture and practical portions with written exams to assess retention of knowledge.  A practical portion lasts two days and assesses the skills of students in handling assignments. Prerequisites: Emergency Medical Dispatch- Assignment Receiving Dispatcher (EMD-ARD) (COM 200) and Emergency Medical Dispatch- Radio Dispatcher (EMD-RD) (COM 201). 

Credit recommendation:

In the upper division baccalaureate degree category, 2 semester hours in Public Safety Communication, Communication, EMS, EMS Administration, Management, or Operations Management (7/17).

Length:

150 hours (4 weeks). 

Dates:

April 2016 - Present. 

Objectives:

Upon successful completion of this course, students will have greater insight into the functions of FDNY Bureau of Communications Emergency Medical Dispatch Assignment Receiving Dispatchers and Radio Dispatchers and enable them to better manage their employees.  Students become familiar with the methodology utilized to enter calls into the Emergency Medical Service Computer Aided Dispatch which includes Computerized Triage which uses computer based algorithms to enter calls, as well as manual triage which is based on information on cards.  Students also gain familiarity as to how EMS resources are dispatched to emergency assignments.  This training ensures that student EMS Officers can work with the members they supervise to ensure proper resource allocation depending on current conditions citywide.  They also effectively assist the members they are supervising when asked questions in regard to policy and procedure.  This course lays the groundwork for students to become successful EMS Officers while assigned to Emergency Medical Dispatch.

Instruction:

Instruction for the class includes both lecture and practical portions with written exams to assess retention of knowledge.  Following the lecture portion is the practical portion which lasts from 2-3 days to for students to observe and participate in skills for each discipline (Assignment Receiving Dispatcher and Radio Dispatcher). Prerequisite: Must be an EMS Officer (Lieutenant or Captain) of the New York City Fire Department.

Credit recommendation:

In the lower division baccalaureate/associate degree category, 8 semester hours in Public Safety Communication, Communication, EMS, or EMS Administration (7/17). 

Length:

 Version 1 and 2: 160 hours (4 weeks).

Dates:

Version 1: September 2007- September 2012. Version 2: October 2012 - Present.

Objectives:

Version 1 and 2: Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to: receive and process emergency calls received from NYPD, private alarm companies, inter-bureau agencies, and outside agencies; speak to callers, extract pertinent information, validate that caller’s location exists in FDNY street file, and generate a response based on the information received from the calling party.  In addition to handling emergency calls from the public, ARDs also manage non-emergency and administrative calls, make notifications to other agencies, handle requests from other bureaus within the department; and serve as the primary back-up to other Fire Dispatch positions. ARDs will become familiar with and use equipment including: the Starfire CAD, VESTA phone, MapStar, EBS telephone, Motorola Scanner, and ERS systems.

Instruction:

Version 1 and 2: Major topics include: fire alarm dispatching; role of 5 CADS positions; DD 96-01; request for assistance; and proper handling of complaints. Instructional methods include: supplemental readings, PowerPoints, quizzes, and on-the-job supervised practice.  

Credit recommendation:

Version 1: In the associate degree/certificate category, 1 semester hour in Public Safety Communications. NOTE: This course was previously grouped with Decision Dispatcher (COM 203) and Radio/Voice Alarm (COM 204). Version 2: In the associate degree/certificate category, 3 semester hours in Public Safety Communications  or Communications (5/12) (7/17 revalidation).  NOTE: This course was previously grouped with Decision Dispatcher (COM 203) and Radio/Voice Alarm (COM 204).

Length:

Version 1 and 2: 120 hours (3 weeks)

Dates:

Version 1: September 2007- September 2012. Version 2: October 2012 - Present.

Objectives:

Version 1 and 2: Upon successful completion of the course, students will be able to: vet alarms to ensure that assignments are accurate and processed in a timely manner; review all emergencies as they relate to their borough and monitor citywide activity and unit availability; react quickly to all alarms and be cognizant of radio transmissions; maintain situational awareness of the dispatch platform as well as monitoring field activity; identify the need to provide adequate fire coverage in any geographical area experiencing above average fire traffic; ensure that the borough has adequate fire protection during the tour at all times and check unit availability; receive calls on the administrative line from other units in the field who are calling in verbal incidents or are updating their status; and receive calls from other boroughs looking for assistance to provide units to them for relocation. DDs (Decision Dispatchers) will become familiar with and use equipment including: the Starfire CAD, VESTA phone, EBS phone, Motorola Scanner, Status Entry Panel, Live MUM, and an Administrative Computer.

Instruction:

Version 1 and 2: Major topics include: CADS system; equipment for Decision Dispatcher use; various screen uses; assigning of units and handling of various types of alarms.Methods of instruction include: supplemental readings, quizzes, final examination, and on-the-job supervised practice. 

Credit recommendation:

Version 1: In the associate/certificate degree category, 1 semester hour in Public Safety Communications, Communications, or Fire Service Administration (11/07). NOTE: This course was previously grouped with Alarm Receipt Dispatcher (COM 202) and Radio/Voice Alarm (COM 204). Version 2: In the associate/certificate degree category, 3 semester hours in Public Safety Communications or Communications (5/12 revalidation) (7/17 revalidation).  NOTE: This course was previously grouped with Alarm Receipt Dispatcher (COM 202) and Radio/Voice Alarm (COM 204). 

Length:

Version 1 and 2: 120 hours (3 weeks).

Dates:

Version 1: September 2007- September 2012. Version 2: October 2012 - Present.

Objectives:

Version 1 and 2: Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to: ensure that FDNY Units respond to their assigned alarms, training, relocations, and other dispatches and perform notifications, which are separated as primary and secondary. Primary notifications are made intra- agency during FDNY incidents and secondary notifications are made inter-agency.  VA (Voice Alarm) dispatchers also conduct call backs on behalf of FDNY Field Units to gather additional information. VADs (Voice Alarm Dispatchers) will become familiar with and use equipment including: the Starfire CAD, Voice Alarm Console, VESTA phone, ring-down lines, EBS phone, Motorola Radio Console, Status Entry Panel, and an Administrative computer. The Radio Dispatcher consists of two positions (Radio-In and Radio-Out). The Radio In performs several specific tasks such as reviewing all alarms for pertinent information, scrolling or reviewing all EMS alarms received for any changes in patient status as well as any potential dangerous or hazardous conditions, reviewing all CIDS (critical information) attached to an address which  contains any special instructions, special response and alerts to any dangerous or hazardous conditions, entering all signals and request for additional resources from the field units as well as special calling or adding specific units utilizing the Status Entry Panel (SEP), monitoring Unit statuses and availability, and entering progress reports and updates. The Radio Out is the main point of contact between the Communications Office and the Field Units. This Dispatcher ensures the response of units that have not acknowledged a run, assignment or relocation, announcing the alarm information to the responding units as well as giving any special instructions related to that incident, notifying units of special designations or responsibilities at an incident, announces escalating alarms and incidents occurring in other boroughs, broadcasting important messages such as department orders, and responsible for relaying all additional information to field units responding to or operating at an incident. Radio Dispatchers will become familiar with and use equipment including: the Starfire CAD, VESTA phone, Status Entry Panel, Motorola Radio Console, MIS Computer, and an Administrative Computer.

Instruction:

Version 1 and 2: Major topics include: an overview of voice alarm position, prioritizing functions at the voice alarm position, similarities and differences-radio and voice alarm, developing shorthand for radio communications, preliminary reports, citywide relays, introduction to SEP (Status Entry Panel), and emphasis on radio operations with voice alarm support. Methods of instruction include: supplemental readings, quizzes, final examination, and supervised on-the-job practice. 

Credit recommendation:

Version 1: In the associate/certificate degree category, 1 semester hour in Public Safety Communications (11/07). Version 2: In the associate/certificate degree category, 3 semester hours in Public Safety Communications or Communications  (5/12 revalidation) (7/17 revalidation). NOTE: This course was previously grouped with Alarm Receipt Dispatcher (COM 202) and Decision Dispatcher (COM 203).

Length:

Version 1 and 2: 120 hours (3 weeks). Version 3: 80 hours (2 weeks).

Dates:
Version 1: January 2000 - August 2007. Version 2: September 2007 - September 2012. Version 3: October 2012 - Present.
Objectives:

Version 1 and 2: Upon successful completion of the course, students will be able to: conduct in-service training; perform general supervision and lead first line employees toward the effective and efficient processing of fire suppression and other emergency and non-emergency alarms or incidents in a public safety communications center. Version 3: Students will be able to: oversee the work being performed on the dispatch platform, in both administrative and operational capacities; ensure that Department policy and procedures are being adhered to; ensure that the call- taking process is adequately performed by the ARD, that the correct information is entered in the appropriate fields, and that the alarm is processed by the Dispatcher in STARFIRE CAD in a timely manner with enough information for the decision dispatcher can send the correct assignment to the incident. Supervising Fire Alarm Dispatchers (SFAD) are responsible for having situational awareness of their Borough’s Unit status and Unit availability, as well as Unit availability Citywide as responses in their Borough may require out of borough resources. Administratively, SFADs are responsible for entering all pertinent information into the Department Journal. They perform a daily equipment check of equipment on hand such as portable radios, scanners, library of Department operational reference material and document findings in the journal; perform functionality testing of support systems such as VESTA telephone system and NICE (a logging and recording system) to ensure all phone lines, radio, and Voice Alarm functions are being recorded (phone lines and tie lines between various agencies are tested to ensure serviceability).  SFADs serve as liaisons between outside plant operations and communications and are responsible for entries into City-time including Overtime worked, early relief, vacation, comp time, mutual exchange of tours; sick leave; quarterly and annual evaluations. SFADs use equipment including: the Starfire CAD, VESTA phone, EBS phone, Motorola Radio Console, Portable DARS Radio, CTI (radio transmitter site monitor), Status Entry Panel, Live MUM, MIS Computer, BARS Counter, and an Administrative Computer. 

Instruction:

Version 1, 2 and 3: Major topics include: techniques of training, general supervision, leadership and management concepts. Methods of instruction include: supplemental readings, quizzes, final examination, and supervised on-the-job practice. Prequisite: Successful passing score on the ARD Civil Service Test. 

Credit recommendation:

Version 1: In the lower division baccalaureate/associate degree category, 3 semester hours in Fire Science Management, Management, Emergency Management, or Emergency Medical Services (12/03 - review conducted by the American Council on Education). Version 2: In the lower division baccalaureate/associate degree category, 2 semester hours in Fire Science Administration, Fire Services Management, or Public Safety Communications (10/08) (7/10). Version 3: In the lower division baccalaureate/associate degree category, 3 semester hours in Fire Science Administration, Fire Services Management, Management, Public Safety Communications,  or Communications (5/12 revalidation) (7/17 revalidation). 

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