Skip to content

Illuminations CDE Programs

General Illuminations

The General Illuminations Program provides at-your-desk continuing education for telecommunicators and other public safety communications professionals. The program is offered as an annual subscription-based service.

Each month, Illuminations instructors present timely, relevant topics that can be accessed online, anytime during the month, from any computer with Internet access. Topic selections change each year. APCO also offers EMD Illuminations and CTO Illuminations, each of which features a different series of topics.

Each month-long course allows participants to earn one CDE, for a total of 12 CDEs per subscription year. Participants must submit copies of Illuminations certificates of completion to the Institute to receive CDEs.

General Illuminations Topics for 2020

Topics are subject to change.

November 
IPAWs
During an emergency, alert and warning officials need to provide the public with life-saving information quickly. The Integrated Public Alert & Warning System (IPAWS) is a modernization and integration of the nation’s alert and warning infrastructure and will save time when time matters most, protecting life and property. .
December
Domestic Terrorism
The FBI defines domestic terrorism as “Americans attacking Americans because of U.S.-based extremist ideologies—comes in many forms in our post 9/11 world.” The PST must be ready to recognize and handle these situations when they arise.

General Illuminations Topics for 2021

Topics are subject to change.

January
Same Call - A Different Perspective
This session will consider how a personal perspective and a caller’s age can change the information available to the call taker. These differences can also affect the call taker’s reaction to the caller. Topics include child callers, non-English speaking callers, and cultural differences.
February 
Fusion Centers and Intelligence Gathering
Fusion centers are state-owned and operated centers that receive, gather, and analyze threat-related information. This session will review various fusion centers, real-time crime centers, their capabilities, and the information available for use by telecommunicators.
March 
Fire Calls
This session explores various types of frequent fire-related calls, including structure fire, brush fire, and high-rise fire. New technology used in response to these types of fires will also be discussed.
April
Never Stop Learning
Because new technology and emerging social trends impact public safety communications, it is essential to be mindful of current and emerging aspects of the job. This session will examine various learning opportunities available to the telecommunicator that assist with evolving duties and responsibilities.
May 
Radio Spectrum for PSTs
This session provides basic information about public safety radio technology, including radio frequency types, FCC rules for public safety, and common terminology.
June 
It’s Much More Than a Title
As a public safety telecommunicator, it is never too early for you to start thinking of what type of leader you would like to be. This session will look at leadership models and skills that will aid the PST throughout their careers and lives as they expand into leadership roles.
July 
Wildfires and Hotshots
Across the United States, there are 68 hotshot crews with approximately 20 wildland firefighters each. These hotshot crews respond to large, high-priority wildland fires and are assigned to work the most challenging parts of the fire. This session will look at the hotshot crews and the unique factors of large wildland fires such as firenadoes and fire incident meteorologists and fire behavior analysts.
August
Derechos
A derecho is a widespread, long-lived, straight-line windstorm associated with fast-moving thunderstorms, potentially rivaling tornadic and hurricane wind forces. Derechos can cause tornadoes, heavy rains, flash flooding, and extensive property damage. This session will look at derechos and the PSTs role in preparing and responding to this unique weather phenomenon.
September 
Diversity and Differences
Recognizing and appreciating individual differences is essential in public safety. This session will delve into common differences such as gender, race, ethnicity, age, socio-economic status, sexual orientation, and religious beliefs and customs.
October
Something Does Not Seem Right
Sometimes what we hear does not make sense. This session will review active listening skills, including attitude, attention, adjustment, and the importance of listening to what the caller says or what they are not saying.
November 
Citizen and Responder Safety
Gathering pertinent information for the safety of the caller and the responding units is vital. This session will discuss dangers such as armed suspects, hazardous fire scenes, combative medical patients, and the information needed to ensure scene safety.
December
Ethics and the PST
Values, moral principles and proper behavior standards are crucial in the workplace. This session will discuss various types of work ethic skills and ways to ensure high ethical standards.

Annual Subscription

$119 non-member
$109 APCO member
$99 per person (group of 26-50 registrants)
$89 per person (group of 51+ registrants)

Purchase General Illuminations

  • Go to the Illuminations registration page, where you will see a list of classes by date.
  • Select the month for the version of Illuminations you want to take
  • Click Register next to that topic and month.
  • Follow the instructions to complete registration for this track.

You will be subscribed to General Illuminations for 12 months starting with the month and topic you selected.