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Twelve students completed the Telecommunicator Certification course at Halifax Community College, Aug. 17. Pictured are, from left, Christopher Ormond, Sarah Finney, April Rolfe, Robin Brooks, Heather Pleasant, School Director Walter Clement, Kristin Smith, Henry Hedgepeth, Timmea Gladden, Karen Cooper, Debra Earley, Instructors Heather Joyner and Tammie Piland, Latonya Whitaker, and Kimberly Mangum.

Twelve students completed the Telecommunicator Certification course at Halifax Community College, Aug. 17. Those certified can now work for E-911 centers.

Graduates included Christopher Ormond of Craven County Sheriff's Department; Sarah Finney and Robin Brooks of Northampton County Sheriff's Department; April Rolfe, Kristin Smith, Henry Hedgepeth, Latonya Whitaker and Heather Pleasant of Halifax County E-911; Timmea Gladden, Karen Cooper and Kimberly Mangum of Warren County Sheriff's Department; and Debra Earley of Gates County Sheriff's Department. Instructors were Heather Joyner with Halifax County E-911, Tammie Piland with Northampton County 911 and School Director, Walter F. Clement.

Students received 47 hours of training as mandated by the state of North Carolina to operate as a telecommunicator in the state. Topics included systems and equipment, civil liability, emergency services, call reception and prioritization, and broadcast techniques. There was also a training practicum and state examination on the final day of the course.

The Telecommunicator school allows the students to work as probationary telecommunicators for one year from the date of the final exam in any sheriff's department, police department or county 911 center. If, after about a year of employment, they make application for permanent status, they will be issued certification. They are required to take 16 hours of updated instruction each year to retain their certification.

Telecommunicators must have a background check, be a U.S. citizen at least 21 years old, a high school graduate or have obtained a GED, drug free and of good moral character, and have a medical examination.

For more information about the Telecommunicator course, contact Walter F. Clement, school director at (252) 536-7279 or (252) 536-7216.