ECP110 - Introduction to Public Safety Communications

Outline info
Last revision date 2017-11-21 11:33:54.951
Last review date 2017-11-21 11:34:01.858

Subject Title
Introduction to Public Safety Communications

Subject Description
This subject focuses on the special requirements and skills necessary for those entering the field of public safety communications. It will provide an overview of the profession and will cover the essential skills and processes associated with Communication Centre operations, including the gathering of information in emergency and non-emergency situations. It will also provide a fundamental understanding of 911 emergency services, including telephone and radio system operations. Upon completing this course, students will have the opportunity to complete the APCO (Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials) Public Safety Telecommunicator 1 Certificate examination.

Credit Status
This is a 911 & Emergency Services Communications Program prescribed credit.

Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this subject the student will be able to:


  1. Define the roles, responsibilities and qualities required of a Public Safety Communicator.
  1. Demonstrate the information systems used in public safety communications, including the phonetic alphabet, the 24-hour clock, other terminology and equipment recognition.
  1. Demonstrate effective telephone communications using active listening skills.
  1. Compare different communication styles, including face to face vs. telephone or radio.
  1. Demonstrate a variety of information gathering techniques used in emergency and non-emergency situations.
  1. Explain how public safety calls are classified for service.
  1. Demonstrate techniques for dealing with difficult callers.
  1. Explain the principles of customer service and explain how liability may affect Public Safety Communicators.
  1. Describe the importance of ethics in the public safety field.
  1. Describe the effect of the media on Communication Centre operations and explain how to communicate effectively with the media.
  1. Explain the importance of continued professional development in this quickly changing environment.

Cheating and Plagiarism
Each student should be aware of the College's policy regarding Cheating and Plagiarism. Seneca's Academic Policy will be strictly enforced.

To support academic honesty at Seneca College, all work submitted by students may be reviewed for authenticity and originality, utilizing software tools and third party services. Please visit the Academic Honesty site on for further information regarding cheating and plagiarism policies and procedures.

All students and employees have the right to study and work in an environment that is free from discrimination and/or harassment. Language or activities that defeat this objective violate the College Policy on Discrimination/Harassment and shall not be tolerated. Information and assistance are available from the Student Conduct Office at

Accommodation for Students with Disabilities
The College will provide reasonable accommodation to students with disabilities in order to promote academic success. If you require accommodation, contact the Counselling and Disabilities Services Office at ext. 22900 to initiate the process for documenting, assessing and implementing your individual accommodation needs.


Mode of Instruction
You will be exposed to a variety of teaching methods including lectures, discussions, class exercises, independent study small group work, and role playing assignments. Students will also undertake the assigned readings and prepare reports/essays on assigned topics. Students must be active participants in the learning process in order to be successful in meeting the learning outcomes of the course.

IMPORTANT:  This is a hybrid subject which means that not all classes are held in person (check your timetable for details). A portion of class learning will take place online. Please note that hybrid subjects require a high degree of independent learning and time management skills.

Prescribed Texts
Public Safety Telecommunicator I (PST1), Canadian Version, Seventh Edition; APCO Institute, ISBN# 978-1-57927-056-8

Promotion Policy

Grading Policy
A+ 90%  to  100%
A 80%  to  89%
B+ 75%  to  79%
B 70%  to  74%
C+ 65%  to  69%
C 60%  to  64%
D+ 55%  to  59%
D 50%  to  54%
F 0%    to  49% (Not a Pass)
EXC Excellent
SAT Satisfactory
UNSAT Unsatisfactory

For further information, see a copy of the Academic Policy, available online ( or at Seneca's Registrar's Offices.

Modes of Evaluation
Quizzes                                      30%
Application/Assignments       30%        
Mid-term test                             20%                     
Final Examination                    20%

Approved by: Sandra Noble