How Do You Get Training to Be a 911 Dispatcher?


Quick Answer

In most cases, emergency dispatch departments offer new employees on-site training after they accept the position, though it is possible to take courses from third party institutions that focus on topics such as the use of technology and how to handle different types of calls. Some associate programs in public safety may also include courses for dispatch training, as do certain police dispatch certification programs.

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Full Answer

When applying for a job as an emergency dispatcher, you typically undergo an extensive process that includes a background check, written application and multiple interviews. After you accept the terms of employment, you often receive specialized training from professionals within the industry, some of which may be other dispatchers at the center. This training lasts several weeks and includes instruction on response protocols, training on how to obtain the important information from callers and how to relay it to police or paramedics, as well as instruction on using computer and phone systems. This training may also include time handling actual calls under the supervision of a professional.

Many private institutions also offer courses in emergency dispatch training that cover similar information to that of on-site training but may not qualify for course exemption in certain jobs. The same is true for associate degree courses, as these typically cover broad topics rather than the specific aspects of dispatch operation. Some dispatch jobs require certification from an official organization, which may offer training courses as part of the hiring process.

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