All 911 calls within the city of New Haven, Connecticut are answered at the City Public Safety Communications Office, which has a mission to facilitate communications between residents and fire, police or ambulance responses units in the most efficient manner.
The highly trained 911 operators evaluate and prioritize calls and use a computer-aided dispatch (CAD) system to dispatch the appropriate police, fire or emergency medical units to the scene. In 2012, 156,373 calls were dispatched (131,982-police, 18,244-medical service and 6,147-fire). New Haven operators answered 96.5 percent of all 911 calls within 10 seconds, which is better than the state average of 94.8 percent.
If you’re ready for a rewarding career, take the following steps to become a 911 dispatcher in New Haven:
|Get a Good Education
|Meet Requirements for a Job in New Haven and Apply
|Complete Training and Begin your Career in New Haven as a 911 Dispatcher
Step 1. Get a Good Education
Any post-high school education you can get will improve your chances of getting a civil service job with the city. New Haven is famous for Yale University; however, there are more than eight other colleges and universities in the city, as well as numerous online schools, from which to get an associate’s or bachelor’s degree. Select a relevant field of study like criminal justice, public safety, fire science, homeland security, etc. It would also be smart to earn a CPR certificate. Classes are widely available through the local Red Cross, fire department or adult education system.
It is noted that on August 21, 2012, a New Haven 911 operator saved the life of a 10-month old boy who was found unresponsive in a bathtub. The operator instructed the mother in CPR as the ambulance was on its way. The dispatcher received a citation at a later ceremony for her excellent work. Just a year earlier, in July of 2011, another New Haven 911 dispatcher was credited with saving the life of a four-year-old child who had fallen into a backyard swimming pool. These incidents highlight the enormity of the job.
The job of 911 operator in New Haven entails the following:
- Answer 911-emergency calls immediately
- Listen carefully and input all relevant data into the CAD system
- Dispatch appropriate police, fire and/or medical units to the scene
- Track and coordinate all responding resources in the field
- Answer non-emergency calls as promptly as possible
- Help to resolve non-emergency issues efficiently and courteously
- Provide internal data, such as street closures, to police and fire departments
- Maintain accurate and complete records
- Monitor fire alarm systems in such city buildings as city hall and libraries
Step 2. Meet Requirements for a Job in New Haven and Apply
You must meet the following requirements to become a 911 dispatcher in New Haven:
- U.S. citizen or legal resident
- High school education or better
- Strong listening skills
- Ability to multi-task
- Computer proficiency/good typing skills
- Clean criminal record/no drug use
- Good hearing and vision
- Able to pass background investigation and polygraph
Although not required, being bi-lingual in another language, especially Spanish, is highly desirable among candidates pursuing 911 dispatcher jobs.
Applications are processed through the New Haven Human Resources Department which lists all open positions with the city as well as online applications. Only applications for currently available job are accepted.
Step 3. Complete Training and Begin Your Career in New Haven as a 911 Dispatcher
New recruits take the 24-hour Emergency Medical Dispatch certification class and complete Connecticut’s telecommunicator training program and certification during the first year of employment. They also receive training on using the CAD, radio and PowerPhone systems as well as on-the-job training with an experienced 911 operator. Dispatchers in New Haven receive continuing education throughout their careers.
The median annual salary for 911 dispatchers in New Haven is $36,866. You can expect to start at around $27,565 (depending on education and experience) and earn up to $45,480/year in time. Supervisor salaries are higher.