Over 202,000 calls were made to 911 dispatchers in Lexington in 2012, and more than 96% of these calls were answered in 10 seconds or less. The 911 dispatchers in Lexington, Kentucky have something to be proud of, as this exceeds the national standard for the response time on emergency calls.
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If you have what it takes to join this elite team, follow this step-by-step guide to learn how to become a 911 dispatcher in Lexington:
|Meet the Requirements and Obtain the Necessary Education|
|Complete the Application Process|
|Undergo Academy Training|
Step 1. Meet the Requirements
There are two types of emergency communications jobs found in Lexington: Entry-level employees sometimes begin their careers as 911 call takers, while more senior employees work as 911 dispatchers.
911 Call Taker – To start as a call taker, the Lexington Fayette Urban County Government (LFUCG) requires that you have a high school education and 13 months of vocational training.
In addition, you are required to have one year’s experience answering calls for a communications unit. This can be in the private or public sector. You can substitute an equivalent amount of training for this experience requirement.
911 Dispatcher – Becoming a 911 dispatcher requires 18 months of vocational training or six months of experience as a call taker for the LFUCG.
One way to obtain the experience required for a 911 call taker position is to obtain a college degree in an area related to 911 dispatching. An associate’s or bachelor’s degree in communications, emergency management, homeland security or criminal justice would provide you with the skills needed to able to apply for 911 call taker or dispatcher positions.
Step 2. Complete the Application Process
You can search for 911 jobs in Lexington and apply for them at the municipal government website. At this site, you can create a profile even in advance of job postings.
You will have to go through the following steps to be hired to answer 911 calls in Lexington:
- CritiCall test
- This will measure your ability to focus under situations that divide your attention
- PHQ test
- Online questionnaire
- On-site written test
- This process will screen how suitable you are for the position and provide an inventory of your personality
- Background check and polygraph test
- Drug screen
Step 3. Undergo Academy Training
Once you have been hired to answer 911 calls, you will be rigorously trained to carry out this function. You will be trained in two academies. The first is an in-house academy in Lexington.
The second round of academy training involves eight weeks of training at the Department of Criminal Justice Training (DOCJT) in Richmond. You will have to live there during the week, but you can return home for weekends. You will be certified after you have completed this program.
In addition, when you return to work in the 911 call center, you will be working with a Certified Training Officer until you have the experience you need to work on your own.