How to Become a 911 Dispatcher in Hawaii

According to the Attorney General for the State of Hawaii, in 2011 there were 47,340 crimes across the state, corresponding to a rate of 3443 crimes for every 100,000 residents. Although the violent index crime rate decreased by almost five percent that year, the number of index crime arrests across Hawaii increased 3.4 percent.   Crime in Kauai County increased by 5.4 percent in 2011, and this county had the highest total rates for property and violent crime rates in the entire state of Hawaii.

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The amount of crime occurring each year in Hawaii points to the need for more well trained, properly educated 911 dispatchers. Whether the emergency situation is related to crime, fire, or a medical emergency, 911 dispatchers make sure that the right kind of help reaches Hawaii’s residents when and where they need it.

The chief employers of 911 dispatchers across the state of Hawaii include:

  • Honolulu Police Department, Honolulu
  • Hawaii County Police Department, Hilo
  • Pinnacle Partners in Medicine, Aiea
  • Honolulu Emergency Medical Services, Honolulu
  • Maui Police Department, Wailuku


Steps to Becoming a 911 Dispatcher in Hawaii

Education – Additional education beyond a high school diploma is usually not specified as a requirement for most 911 dispatcher jobs in Hawaii. However, gaining education past the high school level is recommended for those who wish to become 911 dispatchers in Hawaii, as it can help in training for and advancement in this challenging career.

College programs in Hawaii that relate to the job of a 911 dispatcher include:

  • Associate of Science in Computer Science
  • Bachelor of Science in Computer Science and Information Support Services
  • Associate of Science in Information Technology

Training – Depending upon the agency for which one is employed, a 911 dispatcher in Hawaii might be required to complete on-the-job training or a formal training program consisting of classes and hands-on work responding to simulated and real 911 calls.

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Experience – Some employers of 911 dispatchers in Hawaii require new dispatchers to have up to two years of experience in customer service over the telephone, while others provide this type of training to new employees.

Examination – Other employers of 911 dispatchers may require that an applicant pass an examination prior to being hired. This exam may test one’s computer knowledge and speed, how one organizes and prioritizes information, reading comprehension, and ability to deal with people.

Certification – Medical facilities that employ their own emergency dispatchers often require them to become certified as an EMD (Emergency Medical Dispatcher). This certification is provided through the International Academies of Emergency Dispatch (IAED). A three-day course ends in an examination that must be passed with a score of at least 80.

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