Enfield resident Jeremie Meyer used his training to reinvent and improve his own life. Now he’s developed a program to help locals do the same.
There is no program in New England like Meyer’s public safety dispatch certification course, which is offered at Asnuntuck Community College.
While the state offers a certification program, it caps out at 24 hours and offers a fraction of the certification provided by Meyer’s course, from which graduating students will receive a total of five certificates.
It was at the unemployment office that the former Aetna employee got the idea to bring his years of dispatch service and experience instructing to area community colleges. Asnuntuck jumped at the idea, and Meyer’s idea has blossomed into a course featuring job placement, an interactive curriculum, and training to make students qualified to work anywhere in the country.
“Just like a firefighter needs to know how to put out a car fire or an EMT needs to know cpr… dispatchers need real life training,” explains Meyer, whose program includes extensive role playing and simulation, but also puts students in the job market by providing externships.
In Asnuntuck’s program, students have the opportunity to “sit along,” as Meyer describes it — spending shifts alongside professional dispatchers at local and state police departments to learn and see what it’s like on the job.
Exposure to a dispatcher’s on-the-job environment is paramount to a student’s future success, says Meyer, as “it’s not a secretary job.”
“It is a whirlwind f feast or famine. You could be as still as a pond one minute and then as crazy as a category five hurricane the next,” Meyer says.
“You’re going to be multitasking. You have to be thick skinned. You’re going to deal with people who are emotional and will get you emotional.”
Dispatching is a public safety career in and of itself, one that is integral to the delivery of basic safety needs to the community, Meyer explains.
Meyer began his dispatch career in Southwick, Mass. in 2001 before working at the 2002 winter olympics and setting up a 911 center in Kuwait.
His varied experience and knowledge in the field is what currently lends to the success of the program, which has graduates currently working at West Hartford 911 and private security companies.
Asnuntuck Community College is holding an open house on Thurs., Jan. 23 to learn about a number of in-demand healthcare career certificates, including the public safety dispatcher certificate course.
More information about the open house can be found online, including a coupon for $100 off any class.
Those interested in the program and a new career can also visit Asnuntuck Community College at 170 Elm Street in Enfield or visit the program’s website. More information can also be found by calling 860-253-3034.