Portland Community College | Portland, Oregon

Course Number:
ETC 125
Course Title:
Introduction to Fire Communications
Credit Hours:
Lecture Hours:
Lecture/Lab Hours:
Lab Hours:
Special Fee:

Course Description

Introduces fire call taking and dispatching. Includes the use of emergency communications equipment and the application of policies, procedures and protocols in the handling of fire related situations. Prerequisites: ETC 111.

Intended Outcomes for the course

Upon successful completion, students should be able to:

  • Accurately receive and prioritize fire related emergency calls and determine appropriate equipment and personnel needed.
  • Use federal, state and local policies and procedures to define and process a HAZMAT incident.
  • Use the Incident Command System according to nationally accepted FEMA standards.
  • Use the CAD system to process fire related calls from call taking through dispatching.

Course Activities and Design

  • Role-play using both phone and radio systems. Special emphasis will be placed upon the communication between call taker and customer.
  • Discuss and critique specific incidents and situations.
  • Locate and apply specific procedures and protocols to incidents in an appropriate manner.
  • Complete basic call entry including within 90 seconds
  • Navigate the computer aided dispatching system to successfully manipulate the call entry screen, pending call screen and unit screen
  • Assign appropriate units to pending calls
  • Coordinate simultaneous conversations by both radio and telephone.
  • Monitor and direct multiple units by radio and track status on all on duty responders.
  • Apply policies and procedures to the handling of calls.
  • Prioritize calls and determine response based on available resources
  • Apply written policy and procedures to complex situations

Outcome Assessment Strategies

Outcome Assessment:

  • Practical CAD based exercises and exams using Daily Observation Reports (DORs), and Fire, Medical and Law Evaluation Forms.
  • Written exams and quizzes
  • In class and take-home assignments and exercises

Course Content (Themes, Concepts, Issues and Skills)

  • CAD Systems
  • Radio Procedures
  • Responder Safety
  • Community Safety
  • Prioritizing Incidents
  • Response Assignments
  • Records Management
  • Liability
  • Resource Allocation
  • Scheduling
  • Mapping
  • Plotting