How to Become a 911 Dispatcher in Idaho

Often times emergency communications personnel make all the difference when it comes to the survival of an accident or crime victim. According to the employment projections from the state’s Department of Labor, the number of 911 dispatcher jobs in Idaho will grow by 13.9 percent during the decade leading up to 2020.

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Some of the largest employers of emergency dispatchers in the state include:

  • Ada County Sheriff’s Communications Center serving Boise, Meridian, and Garden City; responding to more than 470,000 calls for service last year
  • Nampa Police Dispatch Center
  • Bonneville County Emergency Communications Telecommunications Center, serving Idaho Falls and responding to over 100,000 calls for service every year
  • Pocatello Police Department Communications Center
  • Idaho State Police Regional Communications Centers in Coeur d’Alene and Meridian


911 Certification and Education

911 operator training in Idaho is an important part of a solid foundation for a successful career. Appropriate education before a job interview can give candidates a competitive advantage, and will otherwise be provided if they are selected for hire. All fully trained emergency operators must be certified by the state in a process that is handled by each individual emergency communications agency, and includes 911 dispatcher training such as:

  • Emergency Medical Dispatching including CPR and childbirth
  • School Violence Incidents
  • Legal liability and ethics
  • Incident Command System (ICS)
  • National Incident Management System (NIMS)
  • Child Abductions
  • Basic Dispatch Academy
  • Emergency Management
  • Computer Aided Dispatch
  • GPS Mapping
  • State and National Teletype Computer System

Learning more about how to become a 911 dispatcher in Idaho may prompt candidates to pursue an associate or bachelor degree. These can be helpful for demonstrating a serious commitment to the field and when applying for promotional opportunities based on merit. Relevant degree programs include:

  • Nursing
  • Communications
  • Law Enforcement
  • Public Safety
  • Psychology
  • Fire Science
  • Criminal Justice
  • Emergency Management

With over a dozen state, private, and online educational opportunities available to them, Idaho state residents can begin planning to become qualified as the top candidates in their field.

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A Life-Saving Service in Idaho

Dispatchers at one emergency communications center alone are credited with the following:

  • Providing life-saving medical instructions to bystanders at the scene of a traffic accident
  • Providing over-the-phone CPR instructions that helped to save an infant’s life
  • Two separate instances where a dispatcher provided early delivery instructions to fathers who assisted their partners through child birth

Although the general public may not be aware of events like these, 911 dispatchers across the state are responsible for providing life-saving services every day, most often in the form of pre-arrival instructions while waiting for emergency units. Last year there were 470 professional dispatchers serving at locations across the state, earning an average salary of $33,640.

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