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How to Become a 911 Dispatcher in Georgia

The Georgia Department of Labor reports that the number of jobs for police, fire and emergency dispatchers statewide are expected to increase by 8.7 percent between 2010 and 2020, with an estimated average of 100 job openings each year during that ten-year period. As of 2012, 911 dispatchers working across Georgia earned an average annual salary of $30,056. With additional education, training and certification, however, salaries for 911 dispatchers in Georgia can increase markedly beyond the average.

Some Georgia employers of 911 dispatchers require that prospective employees have six months to one year of customer service or telephone experience prior to taking on the duties and challenges of this profession so vital to saving lives.

Education Choices for 911 Dispatchers in Georgia

Having additional education beyond high school can be quite beneficial. Taking college coursework in telecommunications, emergency management and criminal justice as well as courses that help to increase one’s typing speed and computer skills is a good idea for anyone who wishes to become a 911 dispatcher in Georgia.

The following degree programs lend themselves well to any student who aspires to become a 911 dispatcher:

  • Associate of Science in Emergency Management
  • Associate of Arts in Communications
  • Bachelor of Arts in Communications
  • Certificate in Fire and Emergency Services

Georgia state law requires that all 911 dispatchers in the state, regardless of their employer, complete 40 hours of training and become certified as a Communications Officer through the Georgia Peace Officer Standards and Training Council (POST) within their first six months of employment. This training is offered by the Georgia Public Training Safety Center in Forsyth. Their program, Basic Communications Officer (911 Dispatcher), is open to all who are employed as 911 dispatchers by a Georgia public safety agency and lasts for one week. Courses within this program include:

  • Radio broadcast techniques
  • Communications Officer liability
  • Crisis intervention
  • Communications impaired callers
  • Law enforcement dispatch
  • Medical dispatch
  • Fire/hazardous materials dispatch
  • Terrorism and WMD
  • Stress management

Top Employers of 911 Dispatchers in Georgia

The following Georgia public safety agencies employ 911 dispatchers who may also be referred to as Communications Officers:

  • Police Department of Columbus, Georgia
  • Fulton County, Georgia Emergency Communications 911 Center
  • Union County, Georgia E-911 Dispatch Center
  • Pierce County, Georgia E-911 Center
  • City of Atlanta/Atlanta Police Department
  • Gwinnett County, Georgia Police Services
  • Grady Health System, Atlanta
  • Cobb County 911 Emergency Communications
  • Henry County Board of Commissioners
  • Cherokee County, Georgia

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