Citizen’s Academy

What is the 9-1-1 Citizen’s Academy?

The Red River Regional Dispatch Center has developed a course to allow citizens a behind the scenes look at RRRDC and how the local 9-1-1 system works. This course is typically held on a Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. in the spring and fall.

In this 8-hour course, a group of highly trained dispatchers will lead you through all the steps it takes to process incoming calls for service. From the first ring of the phone until the last goodbye, the instructors will teach you the variety of duties performed in order to provide emergency responses to citizens. Throughout the day, you will hear actual calls and radio traffic received in our center. You will hear stories of tragedy and loss as well as those of humor and success.

Topics –

Learn about the structure of RRRDC and about our successful cross-state consolidation.

Hiring and Training:
Find out what it takes to be hired as a communications operator and the intensive training program dispatchers go through in order to work in the communications center.

Call Taking:
Find out how 9-1-1 calls are directed to RRRDC and what happens from the time the call is answered until it is dispatched. Learn when to call 9-1-1. Understand why dispatchers ask a lot of questions and the techniques they use to calm hysterical and irrational callers.

Emergency Medical Dispatching:
Find out what the EMD program is and how it works. Understand dispatching determinants and pre-arrival instructions. Learn about our quality improvement program.

Fire Dispatching:
Understand how fire calls differ from law enforcement calls, learn unique terminology that fire fighters use and the areas they serve.

Law Enforcement Dispatching:
Understand how dispatchers prioritize calls for service. Listen to actual radio traffic and learn how our CAD (computer aided dispatch) makes our job easier

Observation Time:
Citizens Academy participants are given the opportunity to spend four hours plugged in with a dispatcher and observe calls coming and going. This time is scheduled at your convenience.

Meet our Instructors:

All the instructors are members of the RRRDC Staff and highly trained in their fields. They will share their knowledge enabling you to learn about the diversity of 9-1-1 dispatching and RRRDC.

Read what some previous 9-1-1 Citizen’s Academy participants said about the program.

  • Thank you so much for offering this 9-1-1 academy to the public. I really enjoyed learning about all the systems involved in making 9-1-1 calls so efficient
  • Excellent and Informative
  • Depth and Complexity much greater than I expected
  • A well needed service – very professional
  • It is very informative and I recommend others attend
  • I have much more respect for and knowledge of the tremendous roles you play in our community safety and health
  • Amazed at staff’s depth of knowledge of their work and their ability to articulate it

Potential candidates of the 9-1-1 Citizen’s Academy must meet the following criteria:

  • Open to anyone 18 years of age or over
  • Participants must submit an application for processing
  • Pass a criminal history check

Contact person

Kristi Kanski, Shift Supervisor