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How to Become a 911 Dispatcher in Kentucky

The 911 dispatcher job description in Kentucky involves actively working with callers while remaining calm in stressful situations, providing life-saving information, and keeping emergency response units well-informed of situations as they develop. Last year there were 1,460 trained professionals working in 911 dispatcher jobs in Kentucky, earning an average of $32,450.

Emergency operators work with communications agencies across the state, with some of the largest being:

  • MetroSafe Communication of Louisville and Jefferson County
  • Lexington Emergency Management/911, responding to over 520,000 calls each year
  • Owensboro-Daviess County Central Dispatch
  • Bowling Green 911 Center
  • Kenton County Emergency Communications Center serving Covington

Maintaining a Competitive Edge for 911 Dispatcher Jobs in Kentucky

While researching how to become a 911 dispatcher in Kentucky, prospective operators will come across a variety of training requirements. These are often provided as part of a post-hire curriculum, although candidates who already have experience with any of the following may have an advantage over their competition during the hiring process:

  • Certification working with the National Crime Information Center (NCIC)
  • Law Information Network of Kentucky (LINK) Certification
  • Emergency Medical Dispatch Certification
  • Police Dispatching Certification
  • Fire Dispatch Certification
  • Technology Training:

    • Computer Aided Dispatch
    • GPS Mapping
    • Police Radio Dispatch

In addition to 911 operator training, candidates should also consider studying in a relevant degree program. With an average annual growth rate for emergency dispatch jobs of one percent during the decade leading up to 2020, as projected by the state’s Office of Employment and Training, it is even more crucial for prospective dispatchers to have competitive credentials.

There are over three dozen college campuses across the state and additional schools online offering pertinent degrees for 911 dispatchers, especially for candidates with an eye towards future career advancement. These include:

  • Psychology: helps dispatchers identify the personality types of callers and useful communication strategies
  • Nursing: dispatchers will have advanced knowledge of medical procedures and first aid
  • Emergency Management: 911 operators will be familiar with the local-state-federal emergency management structure in the event of a disaster or terrorist attack
  • Communications: operators will be familiar with a variety of techniques to quickly ascertain facts
  • Law Enforcement: 911 dispatchers will speak and think like law enforcement officers, acting as a bridge between callers and police and sheriff units

911 Helps Woman Prevail During Armed Robbery

One example of a 911 dispatcher day’s work comes from Louisville, where a dispatcher recently had the opportunity to meet a woman who had called her as she was hiding in her house that was being burglarized by two armed men, who proceeded to shoot two people as they moved from room to room. The woman hid under her bed and provided the dispatcher with relevant details until the men began walking around her room. At that point the dispatcher realized the woman could not speak and instead instructed her to press buttons on the phone corresponding to yes or no answers. Police arrived within minutes and took both suspects into custody, while the two occupants who had been shot were transported to the hospital, making a full recovery.

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