If there’s any other heroes in emergencies besides police, EMT’s, and firefighters, it’s the 911 dispatcher.
Within just a few quick seconds, the dispatcher has to figure out what the emergency is, where it’s taking place, and getting emergency first responders on the way as fast as possible. It’s not a job for people who are good on the phones – it’s a job for someone who works well under pressure.
That’s because every call is potentially a life-threatening emergency, and often the caller’s life is in the dispatchers hands, if only for a few seconds. That’s why dispatchers go through extensive training – getting it wrong could cost a life.
So, if you’re thinking of becoming a 911 Dispatcher, remember it is the most important job in the world while you’re on the phone. Dispatchers are the people that deliver help to those in need, and the responsibility is great.
The Four Requirements to Become a 911 Dispatcher in NY
There are four requirements for becoming a 911 Dispatcher in New York State:
1. Typing – Dispatchers must be able to type at a minimum of 35 words per minute (WPM). This is because during calls dispatchers are inputting information for their dispatch orders, and much be able to type quickly and correctly.
2. Emergency Medical Dispatcher Certification – This certification shows you’ve undertaken the requisite educational training for dispatchers to understand medical terminology and concepts enough to understand the needs of each individual caller. This requirement must be completed within three months of hire.
3. Emergency Fire Dispatcher Certification – This certification proves an understanding of firefighting suitable for dispatchers to better understand a caller’s needs. This requirement must be completed within three months of hire.
4. CPR – Every dispatcher in New York state must complete a CPR training by the American Red Cross. A certificate in this skills is required within three months of hire.
What Does a 911 Dispatcher Do?
A 911 dispatcher does several things during a single call.
While on the phone, a 911 dispatcher’s first concern is knowing what kind of emergency the caller is dealing with. That’s why a dispatcher’s first question is “What’s your emergency?”.
Second, they obtain information about the caller’s condition, the severity of the emergency, and how the caller is feeling. All this is inputted into a dispatch order, giving first responders as much insight as possible into the situation they’re heading into.
Third, the dispatcher offers whatever live support they can until first responders arrive. Sometimes dispatchers will stay on the phone with callers if it would be in the caller’s best interests.
911 Dispatcher Training
Dispatcher training programs are offered by employers – either agencies for 911 dispatchers, or by the employers themselves.
This training often involves 40 hours of class time, along with hands-on training and simulated emergencies. Completion of this training – and others offered by employers – will allow you to obtain the necessary certifications for being a 911 dispatcher in New York.
911 Dispatcher Salary
The average 911 dispatcher salary is around $48,000 a year. But, there are many opportunities for overtime, which boosts the potential salary for 911 dispatchers in New York significantly higher.
911 Dispatcher Jobs Near Me
If you think you’re ready to take the plunge into a 911 dispatcher job, take a look at some jobs in your area here. Best of luck!