In 2011, 911 dispatchers with the Aurora Police Department handled more than 98,000 emergency calls. Between five and seven such professionals are on duty around the clock dispatching requests for police, fire, and ambulance services.
One particular 911 call fielded by dispatchers in Aurora occurred in during 2012 and received national attention. A mother with lupus had trained her four year old daughter to call 911 in the event of an emergency. When she had a severe episode, the little girl calmly called 911 and told the operator that her mother could not speak. The 911 dispatcher kept her on the phone and was able to summon help in time. Over the years, there have been a number of instances of Aurora 911 dispatchers saving lives by directing callers on how to successfully administer CPR over the phone.
Here is a step-by-step guide on how to join the proud professionals of the Aurora Police Department and become a 911 dispatcher:
|Obtain Relevant Education and Training|
|Complete the Application Process in Aurora|
|Undergo On-the-Job Training and Obtain Certification|
Step 1. Obtain Relevant Education and Training
Although a college education is not required to become a 911 dispatcher in Aurora, there is a high level of competition for these relatively high paying positions.
- Grand Canyon University - B.S. in Justice Studies, and M.S. in Criminal Justice
- SNHU - A.S. in Criminal Justice, B.S. in Criminal Justice - Police Administrations & Operations, and M.S. in Criminal Justice
- Strayer University - Bachelors of Science Degree in Criminal Justice
- Michigan State University - Master of Science in Criminal Justice
- Rasmussen College - Justice Studies Programs offering a wide range of industry-relevant programs
- Utica College - Online Bachelor's of Science in Criminal Justice
Candidates can distinguish themselves by obtaining an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in one of the following fields:
- Criminal justice
- Law enforcement
- Fire science
- Emergency management
A number of schools in Illinois offer these types of degrees, and in addition, there is the option of enrolling in online schools.
Step 2. Complete the Application Process in Aurora
When jobs such as dispatcher positions are available, they are posted on the Human Resources Department website. You will need to download an application from the site, fill it out, and bring it to the Human Resources Department.
Once you have been chosen to become a dispatcher, you will need to take an exam. Strong computer skills are very important to being successful as a 911 dispatcher. To pass this exam, you will have to be able to generate 5,000 net strokes of data entry an hour.
After you have passed the exam, the Police Department will perform a background check before you move on to the interview stage.
Step 3. Undergo On-the-Job Training and Obtain Certification
Once you have been accepted for a position as a 911 dispatcher with the city of Aurora, you will recieve a substantial amount of training to ensure that you are ready to process emergency calls.
The agency brought a new dispatch center online in 2010. It features a digital radio system that replaces the outdated scanners that the department previously used. This $14 million radio system has newer technology that will permit you to do the following:
- Alert fire stations
- Locate callers
- Make a digital recording of 911 calls
You will be required to obtain at least one of the following certifications within half a year of being hired:
- NCIC (National Crime Information Center)
- CCIC (Colorado Crime Information Center)
- Emergency Medical Dispatcher Certification