Over 160 emergency dispatchers work in three shifts around the clock to help keep the citizens of Baltimore County safe. The county’s new $76 million 911 call center is located in Towson, replacing an outdated facility.
Here is a step-by-step guide on how to become a 911 dispatcher in Baltimore County, Maryland:
|Obtain the Necessary Education|
|Complete the Application Process|
|Attend the 911 Training Academy and Obtain Certifications|
Step 1. Obtain the Necessary Education
The job requirements to start as an emergency communications technician trainee only specify the need to have a high school education. You will be expected to rapidly become knowledgeable about police, fire, and emergency medical procedures, terminology, and methods.
One way to distinguish yourself from the competition for this type of position is to obtain a formal education related to communications, law enforcement or the emergency management field. You can do this by obtaining an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in a field such as these:
- Police science
- Criminal justice
- Emergency management
You can obtain these types of degrees from state schools or from one of the many accredited online schools that offer this type of education to residents of Baltimore County.
Step 2. Complete the Application Process
You can only apply to train as an emergency communications technician when a job is posted. You can sign up to be emailed when such jobs become available on the job description page. You will have to be able type spoken words at a rate of 20 words per minute.
When you are being considered for this job, the county will thoroughly examine your background to make sure you are emotionally stable and of good moral character. You will have to undergo the following:
- Comprehensive background check that involves fingerprinting
- A drug screen
Step 3. Attend the 911 Training Academy and Obtain Certifications
Once you have been hired and passed all of background screens, you will start your training by attending classes in the county’s 911 Training Academy. Part of your training will involve a ride along with a police officer.
After you have learned the basics, you will transition into an on-the-job training program. You will be trained to do the following:
- Receive requests for emergency service
- Quickly provide the information needed to dispatch
- Supply additional information as needed
- Log the calls for dispatch that have been handled and the actions that have been taken
- Relay information to other jurisdictions or agencies
- Provide emergency medical aid to callers
- Determine and coordinate equipment response
- Monitor and record the status and location of units
After you have completed your training, you will be required to obtain the following certifications:
- Emergency Medical Dispatcher certificates from the following agencies
- National Academies of Emergency Dispatch (NAED)
- Maryland Institute for Emergency Medical Services Systems
You must continue to maintain these certifications throughout your employment. Within six months of having been hired, you must complete an Emergency Telecommunicator program that has been approved by the state.
Once you have fully mastered the skills and knowledge required for the position, you will be evaluated by the following two agencies:
- Office of Human Resources
- Office of Budget and Finance
After you have passed muster, you will be promoted to Emergency Communications Technician I.