AP NEWS

Intensive Wake Tech program trains future 911 dispatchers to handle high-stress job

April 17, 2019

A new group of graduates are about to take on the high-stress role of a 911 dispatcher and a new class at Wake Technical Community College has worked to make sure they are better prepared to deal with the pressure of the job.

Graduation night at Wake Tech comes with a purpose.

“I wanted something I could do to help people, you know, a public service,” Ronald Mayberry said.

Mayberry is one of several graduates of the first ever advanced telecommunications program. It’s an intensive 237-hour course where future 911 operators are trained.

“These people are, in fact, our lifeline. When they are on the end of the call, someone calls, they are in emergency mode, they are in panic mode, their life may be in the balance, so we thought there was a need for additional training,” Officer Glenn Mitchell said.

“We are well equipped in this class. It gave us everything we need as far as being that lifeline,” Mayberry said.

The class is a pilot program and provides students with about 200 more hours of instruction than the average 911 operator course.

The students even rode along with police and EMS to get an idea of who they will be talking to when emergencies happen.

Mayberry said the recent explosion in Durham showed him just how important his new career could be.

“It’s definitely a wake-up call. You see those things happen in your neck of the woods and you want to do something about it,” he said.

Wake Tech said the pilot program has been a great success and they are hoping other colleges around the area adopt the curriculum to try to improve emergency response across the state.