How to Become a 911 Dispatcher in Worcester, Massachusetts

In Worcester, dispatchers at the Emergency Communications Center answer more than 120,000 911 calls a year.  These professionals process both police and fire emergency responses and estimates that it answers a total of about half a million emergency and non-emergency calls each year.

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Follow these three steps to become a 911 dispatcher in Worcester:

Consider Your Education Options
Complete the Application Process
Undergo Academy and On-the-Job Training

The number of building fires in Worcester increased 11% from 2011 to 2012.  Fire department personnel responded to over 800 fires in city buildings in 2012.  The city broke down the types of different fires and made this information publicly available.

The most common cause of fires in Worcester by far results from unsafe cooking practices.  This caused 77% of the fires in the city in 2012.  Other causes are listed below:

  • Heating-related – 6%
  • Arson – 2%
  • Smoking – 2%
  • Electrical – 2%
  • Indoor rubbish – 1%
  • Clothes dryers – 1%
  • Juvenile firesetting – 1%
  • Candles – 0.5%



Step 1. Consider Your Education Options

Obtaining a college-level education in a field related to handling emergency calls can help you to stand out from the competition.

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Applicants for 911 dispatcher jobs in Worcester frequently get training in a field such as communications, criminal justice, homeland security, emergency management or emergency medical services.

Associates or bachelors degrees are available from schools in Massachusetts or one of the many online institutions that offer these types of degrees.



Step 2.  Complete the Application Process

You can apply for a 911 dispatcher position when one is advertised on Worcester’s Job Opportunities website.  Clicking on the job title will give you the information on how to apply.

Once your application has been selected, you will be contacted to undergo CritiCall testing.  This involves examining your ability to function when your attention is divided by multiple situations and is a good assessment of how well you would do as a 911 dispatcher.

After you have passed this test, you will go through the following processes:

  • Background check
  • Medical examination
  • Drug screen


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Step 3.  Undergo Academy and On-the-Job Training

Once you have been hired as a 911 dispatcher, you will be thoroughly trained in handling enhanced 911 calls.  This is part of a statewide system in Massachusetts.  You will undergo academy training first.  Once that is completed, you will be trained on the job until you are ready to answer and dispatch 911 calls.  After this process has been completed, you will be officially certified as a 911 dispatcher.

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