New Emergency Medical Dispatcher school course offers career path, dispatch training

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- A Central California adult school is taking action to offer a new pathway, for people thinking about making a career change.

Emergency medical dispatcher student Myra Duran says she's always had a passion for helping others

"I was very passionate about helping the community and I actually had envisioned going towards law enforcement, but this brought me to a different route," said Duran.

Myra is one of roughly a dozen students taking part in a six-week emergency medical dispatch course.

"I thought what better way to help my community than to serve in dispatching," added Duran. "We learn how to take calls, how to handle situations, how to speak in calm voices."

Now several weeks into the course, she says it's put her on track to a whole new career path

"Whether you're dealing with someone who stopped breathing or someone whose house has burnt down, I want these students to be prepared," said American Ambulance Training Coordinator Jennifer DeLeon.

It's the only course of its kind in the state and is a partnership between Valley Regional Occupational Program, American Ambulance and Sanger Adult School.

"Most people think you have to have the experience to be a dispatcher or you have to have all kinds of medical backgrounds and you don't," added DeLeon.

Students will graduate with a medical and fire dispatch certification and most importantly, the training they'll need for the job.

"When I take my tests and quizzes, I know it's all the worth the time studying," said Duran.

"A lot of dispatchers are the voice, they're never seen, but really in reality, if someone says call 911, I need help, that's me," said DeLeon. "Just to know that I made a difference, that's why I do it."

Classes will wrap at the end of May with a new session starting this fall. Interested applicants can apply here.

Dispatchers are in high demand with pay ranging from $40-60 an hour. Several emergency service agencies will be recruiting from the course.
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