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How to Become a 911 Dispatcher in Maryland

The Maryland Emergency Number Association (MENA), a non-profit organization that is not a government agency but works closely with government and law enforcement agencies throughout the state, has compiled statistics on the usage of the 911 system in the state. According to its information, in 2012 there were:

  • 902,978 total calls made to Baltimore County 911 in Towson
  • 185,821 total calls made to the Cecil County Department of Emergency Services in Elkton
  • 173,010 total calls made to the Harford County Division of Emergency Operations in Forest Hill
  • 167,586 total calls made to the St. Mary’s Department of Emergency Services and Technology in Leonardtown



While these numbers represent only a portion of the many calls made to 911 dispatchers across the state of Maryland, they provide insight into just how busy the job of a 911 dispatcher in Maryland can be.

Education and Training for 911 Dispatchers in Maryland

Having additional training or education beyond the high school level can help a candidate immensely when trying to become a 911 dispatcher in Maryland. Degrees and college coursework in the following areas can be the most helpful:

  • Computer science
  • Communications
  • Emergency management
  • Public health
  • Public administration

Most 911 dispatcher jobs in Maryland require that new employees complete training and/or certification before they are allowed to work. For example, the Prince George’s County Public Safety Communications Division mandates the following training for its new 911 dispatchers:

  • Completion of an academic training program, with classes and examinations that must be passed with grades no lower than 80 percent
  • National Academy of Emergency Dispatch (NAED)Emergency Telecommunicator Course ETC) and ETC certification
  • NAED Emergency Police Dispatch (EPD) course and certification
  • NAED Emergency Fire Dispatch (EFD) course and certification
  • Maryland State National Crime Information Center (NCIC) CN2 training course and CN2 certification
  • American Heart Association Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation/Basic Life Support (CPR/BLS) course and CPR certification

Other requirements to become a 911 dispatcher in Maryland usually include:

  • Passing a thorough criminal background check
  • Ability to work during emergency situations such as natural/man-made disasters and inclement weather
  • Ability to work 12 hour shifts
  • Proficiency with Windows applications and software
  • Pass a medical exam and drug screening test

Top Employers of 911 Dispatchers in Maryland

Some of Maryland’s most prominent employers of 911 dispatchers are:

  • Somerset County Department of Emergency Services – Princess Anne
  • Washington County Fire and Rescue Communications-Williamsport
  • Baltimore City Fire Communications/Emergency Dispatch Center – Baltimore
  • Frederick County Department of Emergency Communications – Frederick
  • Howard County Communications Division-Ellicott City
  • Montgomery County 911 Emergency Communications Center – Rockville
  • Prince George’s County Public Safety Communications Division – Bowie

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