911 and Emergency Services Communications

Ontario College Certificate


911 and Emergency Services Communication Certificate will prepare you for a career in the dynamic fields of emergency and non-emergency communications such as police, fire, emergency medical and ambulance services. The blend of theoretical and practical training gives you the skills to work in responding to emergency telecommunications. Learn the specialized knowledge and abilities required to answer the most important calls a person may make.

Career Opportunities

Emergency services communications centres are the public's link to emergency services in times of distress and crisis. The appropriate emergency response begins with the emergency services communicator. The communicator is often the first person involved with an emergency or incident. As a graduate of this certificate program, you may find employment as an emergency communications operator and/or dispatcher with 911 call centres, police, fire, emergency medical services (ambulance/paramedic), private police, security, alarm response or other public safety agencies.

Entry Requirements

Program Eligibility:

  • Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) or equivalent with:
    • Grade 12 English: ENG4(C) or ENG4(U)
  • OR Mature Student Status (age 19 or older) with the above prerequisite course(s), their equivalent(s) or appropriate Academic and Career Entrance (ACE) Certificate program credits (see Academic Upgrading).

Filter Classes: In Class     Online     Correspondence     Hybrid     Availability   


College English


Placement via English Assessment, or successful completion of ESL934, EAP 500, or EAC149.

College English is an introductory college writing and reading course fundamental to successful college studies. Through a variety of assignments and classroom activities, students strive to develop the rhetorical and analytical skills essential to their success as communicators in college and upon graduation. Fiction and nonfiction are central vehicles for teaching writing.

Loading availability...
If the availability does not load please click here.

ECP110 OR ESC110
Introduction to Public Safety Communications

This course focuses on the special requirements and skills of those entering in the field of public safety communications. This overview of the profession will cover the required knowledge and skills associated with communication centres. Information gathering in emergency and non-emergency situations is a fundamental role of the public safety communicator. Dispatching that information to front line responders also requires knowledge and skills in the use of and delivery of information using the radio system. Upon completion of this course, the students will have the opportunity of challenging the APCO Public Safety Telecommunicator 1 certificate exam.

Loading availability...
If the availability does not load please click here.

APCO Public Safety Telecommunicator

Students will complete the APCO Public Safety Telecommunicator I course, which was designed by the Association of Public Safety Communications Officials (APCO). In this course students learn the basic skills required of emergency response call takers and dispatchers. A certified APCO trainer teaches the course. Upon successful completion, students receive certification from APCO International. (*A minimum of 80% on the final exam is required to receive the APCO certificate from APCO International). Please note the inventory sticker is included with the textbook. This sticker is your authorization to write the certification exam and must be submitted along with your completed exam. THE TEXTBOOK MUST BE PURCHASED NEW.

Loading availability...
If the availability does not load please click here.

Communications and Conflict Management

This course is an introduction to the basic concepts, theories and practices involved in effective interpersonal relations and conflict management. Good communication skills are a vital component to handling emergency callers and students will be given the required skills to communicate effectively and professionally. Conflict is also an inevitable part of any organization. Information within this course will assist the student in understanding the difference between functional and dysfunctional conflict and will provide a useful model of conflict development to diagnose and treat conflicts in the workplace. Our goal will be to enable students to become more understanding, sensitive, skillful and self-assured in dealing with the many difficult interpersonal situations that they will encounter, both personally and professionally.

Loading availability...
If the availability does not load please click here.

Law for Communications Operators

This course will introduce the concepts of the Canadian legal system, including criminal and civil offences. Students will learn how laws are created and its application at the provincial and municipal levels. Legislation pertaining to Emergency Communications Services will be introduced and how it impacts the working individuals. Additionally, effective courtroom witness preparation and presentation skills will be presented and implemented. Since Emergency Communications Operators may be directly impacted by specific legislation while performing their duties, this course will examine individual laws that relate to the release of information and broadcasting restrictions.

Loading availability...
If the availability does not load please click here.

Communication Centre Technology

Knowledge of technology used in any of today's Emergency Services Communications Centres is imperative in order to enter and dispatch the demands for service from the public in an effective and expedient manner. The primary purpose of this course is to make the student aware of and let them examine the technology that is in used within the centres such as Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) systems, 9-1-1 systems, radio communication and mapping systems. Students will also develop their keyboarding skills and examine software applications presently used by Emergency Communications Centres.

Loading availability...
If the availability does not load please click here.

Introduction to Psychology



The discipline of Psychology is the study of human behaviour. It is concerned with the observation behaviour of an individual and its relationship to unseen mental and physical processes, as well as to external events. Introduction to Psychology will provide a framework within which the student can begin to explore the human personality.

Loading availability...
If the availability does not load please click here.

Health and Stress Management

Health and Stress Management Emergency Communicators have a higher risk of occupational stress than the average person. In this course, stress and its consequences are explored. There will be many opportunities for personal assessment, experimental learning and the development of a personal stress management plan. The goal is to provide students with an understanding of the nature of stress and the essential skills necessary to cope with stressors so they can live and perform their jobs with a greater sense of balance.

Loading availability...
If the availability does not load please click here.

Police Communications Procedures

Each emergency service, whether police, fire or ambulance, is governed by specific laws, by-laws, standards, procedures and regulations. Technology used on a day to day basis in the policing environment such as C.P.I.C. is also governed by specific regulations. This course will address the procedures, technology, terminology and equipment that are used consistently in a police environment.

Loading availability...
If the availability does not load please click here.

Fire Communications Procedures

This course provides for an overview of the fire service, its rank and structure, and how it relates to fire communications. Legislation and policies dealing with fire communications centres and acceptable service levels provided by those centres and those staffing them will be examined, as well as different types of fire services, fire apparatus and the "Incident Command" system. Basic fireground terminology will be explained as it applies to fire apparatus, liability issues, hazardous materials response, map reading and fire communications procedures are also studied. Using this knowledge, students will create their own fire response map and participate in practical scenario training.

Loading availability...
If the availability does not load please click here.

EMS Communications Procedures

EMS Communications Procedures Emergency Communicators are often the first persons involved with a medical emergency or incident. Questions asked, decisions made and actions taken by them have a profound influence on the speed, effectiveness and safety of the response and affect the quality of on scene patient care. This course introduces transfer and emergency call reception and protocols, the pre-alert process and requirements of pre-arrival instructions, as well as identifies time regulations and policies governing the collection and assessment of caller information. An introduction to resource management and emergency coverage strategies, assignment of paramedic provider levels and patient distribution rationales are discussed.

Loading availability...
If the availability does not load please click here.

Emergency and Crisis Call Management

Emergency and Crisis Call Management No one ever knows when the unexpected will happen and emergency communicators need to be trained consistently and continually in emergency and disaster management. This course will demonstrate the principles of a disaster showing how they are to be handled. Management of crisis calls, including effective communication skills in crisis intervention, dealing effectively with difficult callers, identifying critical incident stress and evacuation procedures will be examined through lectures and practical based scenarios. The student will practice advanced communication skills through the role-play of crisis intervention techniques.

Loading availability...
If the availability does not load please click here.

Program Outcomes

This Seneca program has been validated by the Credential Validation Service as an Ontario College Credential as required by the Ministry of Training, Colleges, and Universities.

As a graduate, you will be prepared to reliably demonstrate the ability to:

  • Explain the role and responsibilities of an emergency response call taker/dispatcher.
  • Communicate in a manner that demonstrates customer service skills and an assertive and professional approach to call taking.
  • Manage calls using emergency telecommunications hardware/software.
  • Assess and control calls using crisis management techniques.
  • Demonstrate critical thinking, problem solving, and decision making in given simulated emergency situations.
  • Demonstrate multitasking in role-plays of emergency calls.
  • Prepare legal documentation and reports.
  • Demonstrate and explain effective stress management techniques.
  • Apply the knowledge of legal issues, ethics and relevant legislation to the role of an emergency call taker.
  • Assess communications equipment for malfunction and perform minor maintenance.
  • Demonstrate effective radio communication knowledge and procedures.
  • Demonstrate crisis-handling techniques
  • Explain the roles and responsibilities of the call taker in a range of disasters and emergencies.
  • Interpret the Fire Marshall's Office communicator standards.
  • Obtain patient history and communicate to ambulance responders.
  • Recognize policy, procedures and legislation unique to emergency medical services.


OSAP Funding Available

This program is eligible for OSAP funding.

Course load is used by OSAP to determine funding options for programs.

If you are taking 1 - 2 courses at the same time, you may be considered for part-time student grants and loans.

  • 1 course (20%)
  • 2 courses (40%)

If you are taking 3 or more courses at the same time, you may be considered for full-time student grants and loans.

  • 3 courses (60%)
  • 4 courses (80%)
  • 5 courses (100%)

To find out if you qualify and to learn how to apply, please visit the OSAP website.

For information on other awards and financial assistance, please see Financial Aid.


When you meet all program requirements and become eligible for a certificate, diploma, or degree, you must inform the Registrar by completing a Graduation Application form and paying the graduation and alumni fee. Certificates, diplomas, and applied degrees are issued twice a year in the Fall (October) and Spring (June).

For further information including deadlines and fees, please visit the  Convocation website or contact the Convocation Office at 416-491-5050 ext. 77461.

Program Contacts

Georgina Ioannou
Program Assistant
416-491-5050 ext.22946

Joanne Bonnet
Academic Program Manager
416-491-5050 ext.22528