ESC110 - APCO Public Safety Telecommunicator

Outline info
Last revision date 2018-04-10 14:30:07.947
Last review date 2018-04-10 14:30:29.048

Subject Title
APCO Public Safety Telecommunicator

Subject Description
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.

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:

  • Identify the roles and responsibilities of a public safety telecommunicator (PST).
  • Explain the legal aspects of Public Safety Communications.
  • Describe the various technologies relevant to emergency communications and response.
  • Apply effective telephone and radio communications techniques
  • Explain and classify various calls for service.
  • Identify and describe various techniques used to manage emergency and non-emergency calls for service in public safety communications.
  • Identify and explain components of the National Incident Management System (NIMS).
  • Describe stress management theories.

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.


Topic Outline

  • Professional Public Safety Telecommunicator attributes The Public Safety Organization and Structure Basic Telecommunications Elements Policies and Procedures Ethics and Values in Public Safety Communications.
  • The Communications Cycle:
    Communications techniques and information processing Customer service in emergency communications
  • Basic call processing techniques
    Liability issues
    Taking descriptive information
  • Traditional Technology and Emerging Technology
  • Telephony - Emerging Technology Wireless 9-1-1 and wireless portability TTY
  • CAD and related technologies
    Mobile data systems
    24 hour time
    Mapping systems & automatic vehicle location
  • Radio communications techniques
    Initiating radio traffic & broadcast procedures
    Radio technology and terminology
    History of public safety radios
    Radio equipment - conventional and trunked system
    Call classification
  • Call classification
  • NIMS Incident Management
    Incident Management concepts and principles Command & general staff overview
    Call classification
  • Mental/physical stress & tips for reducing stress Critical incident stress debriefing
  • Group presentations & feedback
  • Group presentations and feedback (if required) Course review covering Modules 1 - 14
  • Test #1 covering Modules 1 - 14
  • Test #1 review Modules 1 - 14
    Test #1 rewrite

Prescribed Texts
Public Safety Telecommunicator 1, 7th Canadian edition, Student Manual
APCO Institute, ISBN: 9781579270568
An inventory sticker is included with the textbook. This sticker is authorization to write the certification exam and must be submitted along with the completed exam. THE TEXTBOOK MUST BE PURCHASED NEW. No substitute.

Reference Material

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
10% - In-process
5% - Test 1
5% - Test 2
5% - Test 3
10% - Research Assignment
15% - Group Assignment
50% - Final Exam (APCO Certification Exam)

To receive a PASS for this course requires receiving a passing  grade on class assignments and achieving at least 80% on the final exam.

Approved by: Sandra Noble