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5 Monroe County (Rochester) 9-1-1 Employees Receive AAS Degrees in PS Communications

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  • 5 Monroe County (Rochester) 9-1-1 Employees Receive AAS Degrees in PS Communications

    John M. Merklinger, Director of the Emergency Communications Department (ECD) recently announced the graduation of five of his employees from one of the first of its kind, Associate of Applied Science in Public Safety Communications degrees at Monroe Community College (MCC) in Rochester, NY.

    The following employees who received their diplomas earlier this month are Christopher R. Martin, RPL, Supervisor; Charles M. Vitale, RPL, Public Safety Dispatcher II; Scott Spencer, Public Safety Dispatcher II; Katherine Knorr, Public Safety Dispatcher I; and Patrick Maar, Public Safety Dispatcher I

    The degree program was created as a partnership between the Public Safety Training Facility (PSTF), a satellite campus providing Police, Fire, EMS and 911 training for Monroe Community College and our department.

    The ECD is the sole Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP) in Monroe County, NY. We are a consolidated agency handling over 1.2 million 911 calls annually. The ECD currently has an authorized staff of 198 employees, 189 of which are operational employees.

    This exciting new program is a standalone Associate of Applied Science degree designed specifically for 911 employees. Approximately two thirds (40 credit hours) of the credits required for the degree are achieved by completing the in-house training academy for dispatchers delivered by NYS Certified Instructors. These agency instructors are dual certified by APCO International to teach their respective discipline.

    After completing their training, these degree candidates have to complete the standard course work for a degree including mathematics, physical education, sciences, plus Interpersonal Communications and Advanced Interpersonal Communications. To assist them in achieving their degree, our employees have tuition assistance available from our employer, the City of Rochester.

    This is a huge step forward in the personal development of our staff as well as the Public Safety Communications community overall. While this degree is presently a closed program for our employees, our hope is that it will encourage other agencies and centers across the country to work with their local colleges to develop similar programs. This type of educational opportunity can only assist in enhancing their training programs and ultimately their employees; and our profession.