In Jacksonville 9-1-1 emergency dispatchers work in an 1800 square foot state of the art facility. They are employed directly by the city of Jacksonville and service all EMS services in the area, including police, fire and ambulance.
Jacksonville retains dedicated individuals to man its 9-1-1 emergency response facility 24/7, in part as a result of statistics such as these:
- Jacksonville has a high rate of property crimes, especially vehicle theft
- Jacksonville’s rate of burglaries and assaults are both higher than the national average
- The rate of violent crime in Jacksonville is over two times the national average
- Jacksonville rests in an area of high tornado activity
In order to become an emergency dispatcher in Jacksonville you should follow these four steps:
|Meet Education And Job Skills Requirements|
|Apply For a Position in Jacksonville|
|On-the-Job Training And Skills Development|
|Seek Additional Certifications|
Step 1. Meet Education And Job Skills Requirements
In Jacksonville, Arkansas you need to have a high school diploma or equivalent in order to qualify to become a 911 dispatcher. However, earning a degree or undergraduate certificate can significantly improve your chances of being selected for the position. Also, the process of earning your credentials will help prepare you for some of the challenges and rigors of the job.
There are a number of universities and institutions in the Jacksonville area that offer courses to help you prepare for your career as an emergency dispatcher:
- CPR Certification – The skills learned in this course will help you assist people in lifesaving medical maneuvers over the phone.
- Criminal Justice Degree – As an emergency dispatcher you will be required to help the public stay safe from dangerous criminals. A degree in criminal justice will give you a firm basis in the workings of the criminal justice system, which will help you assist callers in staying out of harm’s way, and on the right side of the law.
Step 2. Apply For a Position in Jacksonville
Emergency dispatchers in Jacksonville start at a pay rate of $12.57 per hour. You must meet several requirements in order to be ready to successfully complete their job functions. Some of these requirements include:
- Must be 18 years of age
- Must be able to work any schedule: 24 hours per day, 7 days per week. [Note: Schedules are 8 hours per day, with 5 consecutive work days on, and 2 consecutive days off.]
- Must have well-developed verbal and written skills
- Must have previous experience with computers
- Must pass a background check and drug screen prior to beginning employment.
In order to apply for the position of emergency dispatcher you should go online to print the application. Fill out the application and return it to (501) 982-4670 by fax, or by mail to:
City of Jacksonville
#1 Municipal Drive
Jacksonville, Arkansas 72076
Step 3. On-he-Job Training And Skills Development
When you begin the emergency dispatcher position you should already possess certain skills and qualities, which will be further developed on the job. These include:
- Being detail oriented
- Ability to multi-task
- Good hand-eye coordination
- Ability to follow directions and protocol accurately
There are additional skills which are essential to the job function which you will develop on the job. You will be trained on the following:
- How to use police alphas
- How to use police ten codes
- How to use the Arkansas Crime Information Center (ACIC)
- How to use the National Crime Information Center (NCIC)
- Extensive vocabulary related to police, fire, and emergency response
Step 4. Seek Additional Certifications
The position of emergency dispatcher is an ever evolving position. New techniques and protocols are constantly being developed. In order to keep up-to-date it is recommended that you pursue certifications in areas related to the field.
Some relevant certifications include:
- The Emergency Medical Dispatch (EMD) certification program will train you in all the important aspects of emergency dispatch.
- The American Heart Association Healthcare Provider CPR certification program will help ensure that you are ready to not only provide CPR, but also help assist others when they need to give CPR.
- The Criminal Justice Information Services (CJIS) certification program will train you on how to operate criminal justice information databases.