How Do You Become a Dispatcher?


Quick Answer

Individuals interested in becoming a fire, police or ambulance dispatcher generally must pass a written exam, as well as a typing exam. Many states may also require a certain amount of training or certification to become a dispatcher. The length of dispatcher training time varies from agency to agency.

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Full Answer

Training programs for dispatchers often consist of both classroom instruction and on the job instruction. However, training may differ from agency to agency because there is no set national standard for dispatcher training, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Dispatcher training may include a number of subjects, including the standard procedures for different situations, how to use specialized equipment and understanding information about the local area. Dispatcher training may also include classes on effective communication or how to act in a high-risk situation.

Certain states may require dispatcher certification. For example, one potential requirement is the Emergency Medical Dispatcher certification, which allows dispatchers to provide medical help during a phone call.

Dispatchers who are interested in career advancement can also choose to acquire other certifications, such as the Registered Public-Safety Leader certification or the Emergency Number Professional certification. Additional training or education may be required to advance as a dispatcher.

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