Below are the questions we often get asked. If you have further questions or cannot locate the answer to your problem, we'll be happy to assist.
How does online training benefit my agency?
I need to cancel attendance on a course, how do I do this?
We understand that flexibility is required in public safety environments. In the event that a course attendance cancellation becomes necessary, please contact us as soon as possible to let us know.
For classroom courses, an Account Associate will advise on options to reschedule.
Online course refunds are issued as credits useable towards a future training and may be redeemed anytime within a year of being issued.
How do I go about enrolling for a course?
Once you are ready to enroll in a course you may call us at 1 800.537.6937 (during business hours Monday – Friday, 0830 – 1700 eastern time) or use the Course Registration form on this website. The form can be used at any time. On the form, please indicate the best time for a representative to contact you and someone will reach out within one business day to complete the registration process.
Can access to a DispatchU course be extended?
On enrollment in an online course, students are given at least thirty days to complete the program. At the end of this time, if a student has not completed all of the required components, he or she will be prevented from continuing. If you believe you may not be able to complete a course within the time allowed due to unforeseen circumstances, please contact us to see if we can assist before the expiry occurs. Requests to extend the completion time for expired courses may be subject to an extension fee.
After passing the test at the end of a course, how quickly will I receive my certificate?
Students attending classroom-based courses will receive their certificates of completion via the mail within four to six business weeks. Please note that these certificates are addressed to the agency supervisor or contact on record. If you have not received your certificate within four to six weeks, please check with your supervisor.
Online students can print certifications and course completion certificates right from their computers as soon as they have passed all quizzes or assignments and filled out a class survey. Printed certificates are provided for successfully completing T-CPR, Emergency Medical Dispatch, Fire Service Dispatch, Law Enforcement Dispatch, and Call Assessment. You should expect to receive the certificate via mail addressed to your agency supervisor, within five to seven business days.
If I do not pass the course test, is it possible to retake it?
In the event you do not obtain a passing score for an online course test, you will be automatically eligible to retake the test after twenty-four hours have elapsed. Students who fail their second attempt will need to submit a request to purchase a re-examination test.
Classroom students who do not pass a test on the first try may purchase a re-examination test that will be delivered by mail. Full re-testing procedures will be sent to the student’s supervisor along with a letter explaining the first test’s results.
I’ve lost my certificate, can I obtain a replacement?
Students wishing to obtain a replacement certificate should contact customer service to request a reissued certificate. Please note that there is a $10 fee for each certificate requested. Once issued, you should expect to receive your replacement certificate(s) in the mail within one business week.
Do your Protocols meet National Standards?
There are no universal national standards for public safety call handling. Our protocols meet all AHA, NHTSA, industry guidelines and best practices.
Our protocol scripts are reviewed regularly by a team of public safety professionals and our Implementation Managers are constantly monitoring use of our products around the country.
Oversight and maintenance of our Emergency Medical Protocol content is managed under the direction of our Medical Director.
How is oversight of your protocols managed?
PowerPhone has been in the industry for 34 years and has a well-thought-out approach and program. We were the first company to introduce call-handling protocols for Law Enforcement and Fire Dispatch.
Our protocols meet all AHA, NTSA and industry guidelines and are reviewed regularly by our team of public safety professionals including our own Medical Director. In addition, through your agency’s call-review process, Total Response provides the tools to ensure the protocols and procedures used remain relevant to your operational goals.
Does your program offer structured call handling?
PowerPhone’s proven call-taking formula is based on the idea of “constants” that identify the key topic behind each question. Our protocols, defined by the scenario they support rather than by responder type, are easier to access when a multiple-agency response might be required.
The protocols focus on what information needs to be collected quickly and efficiently from the call taker’s point of view in a manner that supports their agency’s standard of care. This allows for structure in the call-taking process that empowers the call taker to adapt the wording of a question without changing its intent. This approach allows the call to be triaged in a timely manner enabling a prompt dispatch recommendation and allowing important details to be shared with responders en route.
Together with an ongoing review process, the consistency of the call-handling process can subsequently be monitored and measured against trends relating to metrics such as time, operational environment and training needs.
Do you offer protocol flip-cards?
We offer two versions of our protocols based on our CACH software. Hard copy protocols are no longer available. Our CACH Lite product offers a similar degree of functionality as a printed protocol but with many advantages. Protocol navigation is based on user input rather than having to follow by hand. It is possible to enter information collected on to the screen and then copy and paste the details directly into your CAD narrative. Additional Knowledge Articles that compliment protocol content are triggered to appear in response to user actions. Dispatch Recommendations are based on the same structured logic as the full software package. The system can be installed on a variety of devices and is not reliant on a network connection to operate, making it highly portable and content updates can be quickly distributed electronically via Ethernet or USB drive.
Agencies using CACH Lite have found the product easier to use than traditional flip cards and that it takes up less workspace as a better fit within their workflow process as users no longer have to take their hands off the keyboard.
Should I just get certified in Emergency Medical Dispatch?
To help ensure you and your agency have the support needed during an emergency call, PowerPhone has developed Total Response, which combines certification training, tools, and assessment to prepare your telecommunicators to deliver the standard of care your agency strives to uphold.
Total Response can be implemented in a full or partial capacity to support a specific agency type such as Law Enforcement Dispatch, Fire Service Dispatch or Emergency Medical Dispatch. In these situations, the appropriate certification should be sought to ensure your telecommunicators are adequately trained.
Can I transfer another vendors’ certification to your program?
Holders of a current Emergency Medical Dispatch, Fire Service Dispatch, or Law Enforcement Dispatch certificate issued by another vendor will not have to recertify simply because they or their agency have changed over to Total Response. When the certificate expires, you would be expected to successfully complete the appropriate Total Response course to maintain your certification.
Users transferring to Total Response are recommended to complete our Transition Training Program to ensure they understand and are able to fully realize the system’s benefits.
Do I need to recertify with PowerPhone?
Our certification qualifications are valid for 24 months after which, the individual is recommended to recertify. Our recertification courses offer refresher training on core skills and content updates, which on completion are worth 8 Continuing Education Units (CEUs) and a certification extension for 24 months.
States that mandate certification of Telecommunicators require renewal at regular intervals. When seeking recognition as an approved vendor in these regions, PowerPhone is required to submit course outlines and learning objectives in order to ensure content meets local standards.
Do you install your Computer Aided Call Handling (CACH) software?
The CACH installation process varies based on the version of CACH being used. For CACH Lite, the installation files are delivered electronically. If your agency doesn’t have the in-house expertise to install them, we can provide assistance via the web.
For CACH Standard, we usually undertake installation on your behalf in conjunction with your local IT resource. The PowerPhone representative who assists you during the procurement process will be able to discuss your installation options.
We understand that a degree of flexibility may be needed during installation to ensure continuity of service within your call center; we will be happy to accommodate those needs should they arise.
Does my CAD interface to your Computer Aided Call Handling (CACH) software?
Our CACH Standard software can operate with a range of third-party applications including CAD. Our open API offers any CAD or third-party vendor the opportunity to interface with CACH Standard. With the open API approach, third-party vendors find it much easier to manage changes to the software. Many vendors have shared how much more helpful and easier PowerPhone is to work with on the interface. If you do not see your vendor on the list, please contact us to find out more.
Our CACH Lite software does offer the ability to cut and paste call details into the CAD narrative.
What kind of support do I receive during the onboarding process for your Total Response call handling solution?
Our Implementation Team provides each customer making a new Total Response solution purchase with onboarding support. After implementation is complete, you will have support from the Customer Service Team.
They will register your staff for the applicable certification training, provide training on the CACH software, and help you set up your policies, procedures, and call assessment program to best meet your standard of care. Our team is here to support you throughout the process.