How to Become a 911 Dispatcher in East Baton Rouge Parish, Louisiana

911 dispatchers in East Baton Rouge Parish answer over 350,000 calls a year.  In this parish, 9-1-1 Operations are part of the Communications Division.  In addition to answering calls for police assistance, they provide dispatch services for 50,000 EMS ambulance calls a year.

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Here is a step-by-step guide to becoming a 911 dispatcher in East Baton Rouge Parish, Louisiana:

Obtain the Necessary Education and Certification to Work in East Baton Rouge Parish
Complete the Application Process
Undergo Training and Additional Certification



Step 1.  Obtain the Necessary Education and Certification to Work in East Baton Rouge Parish

The job description for an emergency communications officer specifies that you must be EMT certified by the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians (NREMT) to be able to apply for this position.

Six months of experience using a voice radio transmitter is also required.

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In addition to having specific medical training, obtaining formal training in communications or criminal justice can help you to achieve your goal of becoming a 911 dispatcher.  You can obtain this type of education from a number of schools in the state or from online colleges that offer a greater flexibility of study.



Step 2.  Complete the Application Process

To apply for a position as a 911 dispatcher, you must download an application at the human resources website and fax the completed and signed document to 225-389-4962.

Once a position is available, you will be contacted if you are being considered for the position.

You will be interviewed and undergo a background check.



Step 3.  Undergo Training and Additional Certification

After you have been hired as a 911 dispatcher, Field Training Officers will give you an orientation and evaluation before they start to train you.  You will go through a certification process of the Association of Public Safety Communications Office (APCO) basic telecommunication course.

Once you have been trained and working as a 911 operator, you will take two refresher courses a year and have continuing education monthly.  You will need to be re-certified for your NREMT certification each year.  That is done in-house.  The levels of training are so sophisticated that the division has been designated as a Field Internship location that used by the following institutions:

  • University of Mississippi
  • University of Oregon

To help the emergency medical technicians complete their duties, the East Baton Rouge Parish Emergency Medical Services contracted to put high powered Sierra Wireless routers with Wi-Fi in their emergency vehicles.  This allows 911 dispatchers to use GPS technology that is tied into the computer-aided dispatch system to locate emergency vehicles and help route them to their next destination most efficiently.

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When a call is routed by a 911 dispatcher, EMTs are able to download the data that operators collect to a laptop in the ambulance.  This provides them with the following types of data:

  • Caller’s address
  • Time of dispatch
  • Nature of the incident

The system also allows the department to capture data and determine where most of the 911 calls are coming from.  This should help plan where future substations will be located.

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