How to Become a 911 Dispatcher in Louisiana

Louisiana’s first 911 system was established in Lafayette Parish in 1979. Today, 911 dispatch centers are found in almost every parish, region or communications district in Louisiana. Some of the job titles that 911 dispatchers hold in various Louisiana-based public safety agencies include:

  • Public Safety Communications Professional
  • Communications Dispatcher
  • Police Dispatcher
  • EMS Dispatcher and Fire Dispatcher
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911 Emergency Dispatch employers are mostly parish-based throughout Louisiana. Some of the largest ones include:

  • Caddo Parish Communications District Number One Emergency Communications Center – Shreveport
  • Baton Rouge Government Emergency Medical Services 911 Center – Baton Rouge
  • New Orleans Emergency 911- Orleans Parish Communications District – New Orleans
  • Vernon Parish E-911 Communication Officers- Leesville Police Department – Leesville
  • Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office-Harvey
  • St. Tammany Parish Communications District Emergency 911 – Covington
  • Calcasieu Parish 911 Emergency – Lake Charles


College Degrees Relevant to Emergency Dispatch Work

Regardless of the title of the job, all 911 dispatcher jobs in Louisiana require specialized training and education, and often experience as well. Although most 911 dispatcher jobs in Louisiana call for no more than a high school diploma or equivalent, holding additional credentials can help candidates better prepare for the job and move up the career ladder faster.

Various college programs and courses available throughout the state of Louisiana can help aspiring 911 dispatchers:

  • Bachelor of Arts in Communication-concentration in Electronic Media, with courses including:
    • Voice and Articulation
    • Public Relations Communication
    • Health Communication
    • Organizational Communication
  • Bachelor of Science in Computer Science, with courses including:
    • Computer Aided Dispatch System (CAD)
    • Database Administration
    • Basic Geographic Information System (GIS)
  • Master of Public Administration, with courses including:
    • Public Administration
    • Organizational Theory
    • Information Systems Management
    • Human Resources Management
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911 Dispatcher Training and Certification Options

Most 911 dispatcher employers in Louisiana require new employees to complete some sort of on-the-job training, taking place either at the job site or within a training facility in the state.  Some employers in Louisiana mandate that 911 dispatchers become certified in one or more of the following:

  • Association of Public Safety Communications Officials (APCO)- certifications available include:
    • Public Safety Telecommunicator- courses include:
      • Computer Aided Dispatch and related technologies
      • Telephony
      • Call Classification
    • Fire Service Communications- courses include:
      • National Incident Management System and Incident Command System
      • Handling fire service incidents
      • Fire service communications systems
    • Emergency Medical Dispatcher- courses include:
      • Legal and Liability Issues in EMD
      • Obtaining Information from Callers
      • Anatomy and Physiology
  • Crisis Intervention Training (CIT) of the National Alliance on Mental Illness – courses include:
    • Mental Health Didactics
    • Community Support
    • De-Escalation

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