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How to Become a 911 Dispatcher in Kansas

Aside from the usual medical emergencies, reports of fires, and suspicious criminal activity, 911 dispatchers in Kansas help callers through extreme weather events such as flooding, tornadoes, and severe storms. Last year there were 1,150 professionals working in 911 dispatcher jobs in Kansas, and over the decade leading up to 2020 the state’s Department of Labor predicts an 8.6 percent rate of job growth.

Some of the largest dispatcher employers in the state include:

  • Sedgwick County Emergency Communications serving Wichita and dispatching for 525,000 incidents
  • Johnson County Emergency Communications Center, serving Overland Park and Olathe
  • Public Safety Dispatch Center serving Kansas City
  • Consolidated Emergency Communications Center, responding to 911 calls from Topeka and all other areas of Shawnee County, which total more than 100,000 each year

Competitive Credentials for 911 Dispatcher Jobs in Kansas

An important part of the 911 dispatcher job description in Kansas is the ability to skillfully handle stressful calls in a manner that saves lives. To be able to do this, candidates participate in a months-long training process that provides instruction on the essential aspects of police, fire, and emergency medical service dispatching.

Job applicants who already possess training or certification in any of the following will receive additional consideration based on these merits. 911 dispatcher training in Kansas includes:

  • CPR Certification through the American Heart Association
  • National Crime Information Center Certification
  • Computer Aided Dispatch
  • Association of Public-Service Communications Officials (APCO) Certification in:

    • Emergency Medical Dispatch
    • Basic Telecommunicator
    • Emergency Medical Dispatch
    • Emergency Fire Dispatch

  • National Academy of Emergency Dispatch Certification in:

    • Emergency Medical Coordinator Policies and Procedure

In addition to this 911 operator training, studying for a college degree can also be beneficial for improving a candidate’s competitiveness. Kansas is home to over three dozen community, technical, public, and private colleges offering academic programs that are related to becoming a 911 operator, with additional educational opportunities available online.

Earning a degree in any of the following subjects can also facilitate greater promotional opportunities:

  • Communications
  • Emergency Management
  • Fire Science
  • Homeland Security
  • Public Safety
  • Psychology
  • Nursing
  • Law Enforcement

Kansas Dispatchers Respond to Disaster

In times of crisis emergency dispatchers must report for duty, putting their job ahead of their family and all other obligations; 911 dispatcher positions are considered an essential part of the state’s emergency infrastructure. Emergency operators serving the residents and visitors of Kansas are required to work overtime during major disasters, and in recent history these have included:

  • 1997 Western Plains Winter Storm
  • 2002 Central Plains Ice Storm
  • The Great Flood of 1993
  • Kansas Turnpike Flash Flood in 2003
  • 2011 North American Blizzard
  • May 2007 Tornado Outbreak
  • 2007 North American Winter Storms

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