Salaries for 911 Emergency Services Dispatchers According to the National Emergency Number Association, there are about 6,100 emergency call centers across the country that handle over 200 million emergency calls every year. Currently, there are 100,000 dispatchers employed across the...
The Essential Guide To All The Job Requirements Needed To Become A 911 Dispatcher
911 dispatchers play a vital link in the emergency services as they act as the connection between law enforcements, medical services (where required), and the people who need these services. You may not have ever needed the services of a 911 dispatcher, but the chances are you will have heard of the experiences had by these significant professionals. Of course, they are very stressful positions and not as laid-back as being someone in an administrative career; however, they are essential and the job can be very rewarding. This article will provide information on how to become a 911 dispatcher and the different skills and training required to enter this industry.
The Different Skills
As a professional 911 dispatcher, you will be required to handle a plethora of telephone calls in a short period of time. In addition to managing these calls effectively, you must be able to handle the calls while maintaining a positive and caring attitude – no-one wants to speak to a stressed emergency operator. To meet these requirements, it is essential that you remain calm at all times. To remain calm, you will need strong communication skills and have the ability to follow proper protocol when completing specific duties.
When facing extreme and dire emergencies, it is essential that you are able to maintain contact with the caller until assistance arrives. It is vital that you help the caller remain calm using strong communication skills. This has been noted as one of the most difficult tasks as you must be sympathetic, practical, and able to reduce feelings of stress for both the caller and yourself.
To be a 911 emergency dispatcher, it is necessary to have specific certification with a minimum of one year training. Obviously, you must have graduated high school or earned your GED as a required qualification. Many employees tend to favor candidates who have some experience in public safety, clerical services, or as a phone operator.
The Different Training Required
As is mentioned, it is necessary to have a certain degree and type of training to become a 911 dispatcher. Nowadays, there are various types of courses available to prepare you for this career, many of which can be gained through emergency dispatch associations. It is also possible to complete emergency dispatch training courses through community colleges. The most common qualification completed is a two year program resulting in an associate degree in public safety from community colleges. Whichever qualification you choose, you will receive both instructional and practical experience revolving around dispatch protocol. Training will also be provided in the basis of public safety and training on how to function in challenging emergency situations. This will ensure you have skills in strong, calming communication.
While certification in emergency dispatching protocol is an advantage, it is not necessarily a mandatory requirement to become a 911 dispatcher. When applying for the dispatching job it is important to complete some research into the career requirements. Some common requirements revolving around different types of training include:
- Clean driving record.
- Clear criminal background.
- Computer literacy
- Typing speed of 45 wpm.
It is also necessary to be at least 18 years of age with evidence of being able to handle stressful situations.