In Juneau 9-1-1 emergency dispatchers go by the title public safety dispatcher. They are hired and managed by the Juneau Police Department, but dispatch calls for fire and EMS as well. Juneau has a need for well trained and well qualified safety dispatchers, in part due to the following:
- Juneau has a rate of violent crime which is higher than the U.S. average.
- Juneau’s crime rate makes it more unsafe than 87 percent of U.S. cities
- As of November 2013 Juneau had 107 registered sex offenders. This equates to 1 in every 288 residents
- Juneau’s weather can make driving dangerous and increase the probability of car accidents.
There are several steps to becoming a public safety dispatcher in Juneau. These steps include:
|Meet Education And Job Skill Requirements|
|Apply For a Position in Juneau|
|On-the-Job Training And Skills Development|
|Seek Additional Certifications|
Step 1. Meet Education And Job Skill Requirements
In order to become a public safety/911 dispatcher in Juneau you must have a high school diploma or equivalent. In order to better your chances at being selected for the position you should seek a degree in a relevant field. Obtaining an associate’s degree or bachelor’s degree from any of the Juneau area colleges or universities is a good way to prepare for the job, and can help you get ahead of the competition.
- Rasmussen College - Justice Studies Programs offering a wide range of industry-relevant programs
- Utica College - Online Bachelor's of Science in Criminal Justice
Degree programs relevant to becoming a public safety dispatcher in Juneau include:
- Health Information Management – This 2 year degree provides you with a foundation in the information side of health management. These skills could come in handy in managing the different systems which you will encounter on the job.
- Health Sciences – A 2 year degree in health sciences prepares you for many of the health related situations and emergencies that you will face on the job.
- Management – This bachelor’s degree will help you learn to multi-task, prioritize, and motivate people. This is a good degree if you are looking to go into a leadership position.
- Law Enforcement – This degree will help familiarize you with the techniques and protocols used by law enforcement in Juneau. These skills will definitely be useful when dealing with police officers and other public safety officials on the job.
Public safety dispatchers in Juneau are paid an hourly rate ranging from $23.48 to $25.15. There are several requirements you will need to meet in order to qualify for the position, including:
- 18 years of age
- 2 years’ customer service experience
- Pass background, criminal, and drug checks
- Be able to read fine print, graphs, maps, etc.
- Hearing adequate to perform job functions
- Ability to work any of the required shifts. Shifts are needed 24/7, 365 days per year
Step 2. Apply For a Position in Juneau
In order to apply for the job position you should visit http://www.juneau.org/personnel/instruct.php to find the application. There you can choose either PDF for Word format. You can submit it through email (Word doc only) to Employment@ci.juneau.ak.us. Or mail it to:
City and Borough of Juneau
Human Resources and Risk Management Division
155 Sought Seward
Juneau, Alaska 99801
Drug tests will be scheduled for those who pass the first round of qualification.
Step 3. On-the-Job Training And Skills Development
In order to satisfactorily perform the job functions for this position you will need to have the following qualities:
- Ability to think clearly under pressure
- Excellent communications skills
- Ability to accurately follow instructions
- Attention to minute detail
Once you begin your career as a 911 dispatcher in Juneau you will be required to learn the skills of the job. You will be trained on the following:
- Answer calls for police, fire, ambulance, and other emergency response services
- Monitor and update multiple computer systems
- Conduct detailed phone interviews while updating multiple systems
- Exercise proper judgment in prioritizing calls and dispatching resources
- Accurately give people life-saving instructions over the phone
Step 4. Seek Additional Certifications
As you progress in your job as a 911 dispatcher you may want to continue to gain additional certifications which will help you to do your job in the most effective and efficient manner possible. Some of the best certifications for you to seek include:
- The Emergency Medical Dispatch (EMD) certification will help ensure you are efficient on all the systems which are used in medical dispatch.
- Emergency Fire Dispatcher (EFD) certification will help ensure you are able to satisfactorily operate systems used in fire dispatch.
- The American Heart Association Healthcare Provider CPR certification will ensure that you are proficient in CPR. This may come in handy should you need to instruct others in CPR over the phone.