By Amanda Hatfield Anderson
MELBOURNE -- July has become synonymous with progress for a local institution.
After Brevard Community College transitioned to Eastern Florida State College on July 1, the newly named school hosted its first graduation ceremony.
Fourteen 911 Public Safety Telecommunications Academy students became the first graduates of both the recently established academy, as well as Eastern Florida State College, on Monday, July 15. The ceremony was hosted in the Simpkins Fine Arts Center on the Cocoa Campus.
"A 911 public safety telecommunicator means a public safety dispatcher or 911 operator, whose duties and responsibilities include the answering, receiving, transferring and dispatching functions related to 911 calls," said Tonia Graham, program coordinator.
Other responsibilities include dispatching law enforcement officers, fire rescue services, emergency medical services and other public safety services to the scene of an emergency; providing real-time information from federal, state and local crime databases; supervising or serving as the command officer to a person or persons having such duties and responsibilities.
"However, the term does not include administrative support personnel including, but not limited to those, whose primary duties and responsibilities are in accounting, purchasing, legal and personnel," Mrs. Graham added.
Beginning June 3, students participated in a rigorous seven-week program. Coursework included "The History of Public Safety Communications," "Dealing with Stress," "Understanding Human Communications," "Critical Thinking and Decision Making" and much more.
Although the graduates have completed the program, they still have one more task to complete for employment purposes.
"Students need to receive state certification in order to find a job," Mrs. Graham said. "The state of Florida now requires individuals to be certified before they will be considered for hire."
However, some of the recent graduates have already completed this task, and are now on the horizon of applying their knowledge in the workforce here in Brevard County.
"Several graduates have careers lined up," Mrs. Graham added. "We have students hired and interviewing for positions with the Port Canaveral Police Department, Melbourne Police Department, Titusville Police Department, Rockledge Police Department and the Brevard County Sheriff's Office."
With the first group of 911 Public Safety Telecommunication Academy graduates leading the way, Mrs. Graham is preparing for the next group of individuals looking to help their community. The program is set to begin in October 2013.
For more information, or if you are interested in attending the 911 Public Safety Telecommunication Academy in October 2013, contact Tonia Graham at firstname.lastname@example.org or (321) 433-5695.