TTC student organization recognizes need for Spanish-speaking 9-1-1 staff
Mark Friedel Staff Reporter
Skills USA, Tulsa Technology Center’s (TTC) Career Technical Student Organization, is a partnership of students and teachers who reach out to the public through community service.
Earlier this month, the Occupational Health and Safety committee of Skills USA, shared helpful techniques and phrases with Claremore Police Department and Rogers County Sheriff dispatchers. Their goal is to improve field emergency calls from Spanish speaking callers in the area.
TTC Criminal Justice instructor Richard Stewart said as a chapter, the school’s organization is one of the most involved and awarded in the state of Oklahoma.
Stewart said the students placed sixth in the nation last year for community-driven projects relating to criminal justice. The committee plans to identify possible hazards in the workforce and then set out to find a solution.
“Skills USA chapter members decided to engage in this project after researching the need for a quick response time despite language barriers,” said Stewart.
During the lessons, students taught dispatch callers basic spanish, such as different forms of saying help, fire and other emergency-related key words.
“We taught for about four hours each day,” said Skills USA member Nancy Carillo. “They did really well, especially during the one on one intructions.”
Carillo said student members handed out practice worksheets for the dispatchers to complete and keep to use as a study guide.
Every month, the group organizes chapter meetings to identify projects and entrepreneurship opportunities for community service.
“It’s not just about volunteer hours,” said Stewart. “I teach these students that helping the community is more important than the recognition that comes with it.”
If any additional assistance is needed, Skills USA will gladly return to Claremore’s 9-1-1 center, he said.