Study to become an ERC operator
The Emergency Response Centre Operator degree programme has been designed collaboratively by the Emergency Services Academy (Kuopio), the Police University College (Tampere) and the Emergency Response Centre Agency. The credit volume of the programme is 90 credits, and the duration is 1.5 years. The degree confers eligibility for full-time ERC Operator positions.
Contact teaching takes place at the Emergency Services Academy in Kuopio, where the instruction, accommodation, and meals will be provided for the student free of charge. The studies also include on-the-job learning periods at one of the six emergency response centres in Finland, law enforcement learning periods at the Police University College, and plenty of simulation training at the Emergency Services Academy.
Emergency response centre operator job description
ERC operators are emergency response centre experts that are capable of acting logically even in the most demanding crisis situations. They respond to requests for assistance made at the emergency number 112. When necessary, operators provide instructions to the caller on first aid, preliminary extinguishing of fires etc. and support the alerted units in their assignment. ERC operators work in three shifts.
Duties of an ERC operator
The operator’s duties include finding out what has happened and where, finding out what the assignment’s risk category is, and alerting emergency and rescue units at the location as needed. The operator must also assess the patient’s health risk by means of event and incident information, identify social emergencies and the need for assistance from rescue service and police authorities.
Working in crisis situations
As the work includes dealing with people in distress, mental resilience is required. When necessary, the operator provides instructions to the caller on first aid, preliminary extinguishing of fires etc. and supports the alerted police and rescue department units in their assignment.
Working at an Emergency Response Centre
ERC operators are professionals in emergency response centre work and capable of independent work and logical decision-making, ethical demeanour, and multi-professional cooperation. Customer service and collaboration skills as well as advanced IT skills are required.
ERC operators work in three shifts, around the clock and throughout the year. Shifts are typically 12 hours long.
The applicant must have turned 18 before the start of the studies.
The applicant must have completed the general upper secondary school syllabus, matriculation examination, vocational upper secondary qualification (or a corresponding prior qualification) or a further vocational qualification. The applicant must have obtained the official diploma they wish to use to apply for the programme by the end of the application period.
The applicant must have the state of health and other qualities required for the proper performance of rescue duties.: they must be capable of long-term sedentary work and non-stop shift work, including night work.
The tuition is provided in Finnish. You can view the application procedure instructions on the Finnish website.
The goal of the Emergency Response Centre Operator degree is for graduates to
know the values and regulations that oblige and guide the operations of the emergency response centre, the rescue service, the police, and social and healthcare authorities and take the values of the Emergency Response Centre Agency into account in all of their actions,
based on the incident information obtained, master the basics of the treatment, handling, and special features of the assignments of rescue services, the police, and social and healthcare authorities and can take into account measures related to the occupational safety and collaboration of the above authorities,
know the national operating principles of rescue services, the police, and social and healthcare services,
understand the position and significance of the emergency response centre and an individual operator as an implementer of services within their sector in society, and take into account customer-orientedness and individuality as part of their ethical competence,
understand the significance of interaction and spoken communication skills in the handling of an emergency call and in communication, and can observe their own communication behaviour in order to develop and maintain their own interaction capabilities,
master the use of the devices and equipment and the required theoretical background required for the work of an ERC operator as well as the use of the applications required for performing their duties, know how to deal with a person going through a crisis, and understand the significance of psychological crisis and after-treatment,
can take feedback on their work in order to develop its quality, and know their responsibility for their own professional development as part of the development of the work community,
understand the significance of good physical condition and know the focus areas of extensive maintenance of ability to work, and understand the significance of supervision and occupational health care in their work,
can take action in situations requiring emergency medical care and initial measures from rescue services also outside of the emergency response centre, and can proactively identify safety risks and provide instructions on initial measures.
Why become an ERC operator?
• The work is meaningful and carries a lot of responsibility
• The focus is on helping people
• Good employment opportunities
• Average monthly salary approx. EUR 3,500
Please note that ERC operators work in three shifts! ERC operators work around the clock and throughout the year. Shifts are typically 12 hours long.
Content of studies
The objective of the degree is to prepare the student for the comprehensive handling of emergency calls, from receiving the call to guiding and advising the client. The programme includes an on-the-job learning period at one of the six emergency response centres in Finland, law enforcement learning period at the Police University College, and plenty of simulation training at the Emergency Services Academy in Kuopio.
Degree breakdown by study units (90 credits)
• Basic studies 16 credits
• Vocational studies 74 credits
More detailed course descriptions are outlined in the curriculum.
The student’s previous studies and work experience can be recognised in the degree by means of a personal study plan prepared jointly by the student and the instructors within the objectives of the curriculum.
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