How to Become a 911 Dispatcher in Michigan

According to the Michigan State 911 Committee, there are 166 Public Safety Answering Points (PSAPs) across the state:

  • 83 PSAPs are at the city/municipal level
  • 66 at the county level
  • Five at the multi-county level
  • Four are at the university level
  • Three are at the state level
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These PSAPs employ dispatchers who take emergency medical, fire and police calls made to 911 every day. 911 dispatchers in Michigan working at these PSAPs took a total of 9,559,584 calls in 2011.

Funding for Michigan’s PSAPs and 911 system comes from the local general fund, millage funds, local surcharge, state surcharge and other funding sources. Annual expenses of all PSAPs in Michigan in 2011 were $208,641,812.41 (with the exception of Manistee and Kalamazoo Counties, who did not report their 911 expenditures that year).

Leading employers of Michigan 911 dispatchers include:

  • Auburn Hills Police Department, Auburn Hills
  • Oakland Police Department, Bloomfield Hills
  • University of Michigan Police Department, Ann Arbor
  • Saginaw County 911 Communications Center, Saginaw
  • Livingston County 911 Emergency Dispatch, Howell
  • Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office, Detroit
  • Midland County Central Dispatch, Midland


Education and Training for 911 Dispatchers in Michigan

Postings for 911 dispatcher jobs in Michigan generally list that a minimum of a high school diploma is required as the educational prerequisite. They also state that an associate’s degree is preferred. Degrees should be in one of the following areas, and include the courses listed below:

    • Certificate in 911 Telecommunications – courses include:
      • Suicide Intervention
      • 911 Liability
      • Stress Management
      • Domestic Violence


    • Associate of Arts in Applied Speech Communication – courses include:
      • Fundamentals of Public Speaking
      • Interpersonal Communication
      • Small Group Decision Making


  • Associate of Science in Business – courses include:
    • Business Law
    • Fundamentals of Speech
    • Introduction to Business
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In-Service Training for 911 Dispatchers in Michigan

The Michigan State 911 Committee has set forth dispatcher training standards that all 911 dispatchers in the state must meet. They include:

    • Completion of a Module 1 basic 40 hour telecommunications training course, with subjects including:
      • Telecommunicator responsibilities and roles
      • Overview of public safety, fire, police and emergency medical services
      • Interpersonal communications
      • Legal aspects of dispatcher services
      • Telephone techniques
      • Stress management
      • Radio communications
      • Call classification
      • Public safety technologies


  • Within two years of hire, all 911 dispatchers must complete Module II, 40 hours of training in:
    • Homeland security
    • Stress management
    • 911 liability
    • Suicide intervention
    • Domestic violence

Additionally, all 911 dispatchers in Michigan must complete 24 hours of continuing education every two years. Eight of these hours may be internal training, taking place within the employers’ agency.

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