How to Become a 911 Dispatcher in Columbus, Georgia

You will be responsible for making life and death decisions working as an emergency dispatcher in the police department’s 911 Communications Center. Dispatchers with the Columbus Police Department, working as a consolidated agency with Muscogee County, act as a link between anyone dialing 911 in the county and police, fire, and emergency medical services. Entry-level employees start off earning $25,984 annually and last year the 120 emergency dispatchers working in Columbus earned an average salary of $28,310.

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Once you have studied the step-by-step process of how to become a 911 dispatcher in Columbus you will be ready to make a bid for a future career:

Obtaining a Relevant Education 
Apply with the Columbus Police Department
Initial Training and Maintaining Your Expertise



Step 1. Obtaining a Relevant Education

Becoming a 911 operator in Columbus requires a high school diploma or GED and the ability to type 20 words per minute (wpm). Because there are many eligible candidates both in and outside of Columbus who will be applying when these positions open up, you will want to do everything you can to distinguish yourself from your competition.

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You may also consider taking your 911 operator training to the next level with a two or four-year degree in a related subject. There are a number of online programs specializing in the following programs, not to mention two colleges within Columbus offering:

  • Psychology, including study in dealing with, stress, crises, and the psychology of disaster preparedness
  • Emergency Management, with courses covering critical incident stress management and integrated EM
  • Homeland Security, including instruction in special target planning, and law enforcement organization
  • Law Enforcement, with instruction provided in tactical communications and criminal procedures



Step 2. Apply with the Columbus Police Department

Once you are convinced you are ready to make a competitive application for employment with the Columbus Police Department your first step will be to fill out an application for the official job title of Emergency Communications Technician 1. With your application you will need to include:

  • High school diploma or GED
  • Proof of birth
  • DD-214 if you have served in the armed forces
  • Naturalization verification if applicable
  • Employment history for the past 10 years
  • Three personal references

Once you have submitted your application to the police department’s personnel office you should call (706) 653-3221 to schedule a typing test, which you must complete at a 20 wpm rate.



Step 3. Initial Training and Maintaining Your Expertise

Upon being hired, you will participate in the official training program, which will cover these subject areas:

  • Crisis intervention
  • Fire and hazardous materials dispatch
  • Stress management
  • Emergency management
  • Terrorism and weapons of mass destruction
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Not only will training and education through the following agencies improve your initial candidacy, it will also help you keep your edge as an effective dispatcher with promotable skills:

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