How to Become a 911 Dispatcher in Oakland County, Michigan

The Oakland County Sheriff’s Communications Bureau is one of the largest 911 centers in Michigan that dispatches police and fire calls.  Forty 911 dispatchers work at this center and dispatch the following agencies’ calls:

  • Oakland County Sheriff’s Office
  • Five law enforcement agencies
  • Twelve fire departments
  • Oakland County Animal Control (after hours)
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Here is a step-by-step guide on how to join the Sheriff’s Communications Bureau and serve the citizens of Oakland County, Michigan as a 911 Dispatcher:

Meet the Minimum Requirements
Obtain the Necessary Pre-Hire Training and Education
Complete the Application Process
Undergo Training



Step 1.  Meet the Minimum Requirements

The base requirements to apply to be a dispatch specialist in Oakland County include the following:

  • Having a high school education
  • Not having any criminal convictions on your record

In addition, one of the following is required:

  • 48 college credit hours from an accredited institution
  • Certification in both Emergency Fire Dispatch and Emergency Medical Dispatch
  • 6 months of responding to emergency situations in one of the following:
    • Ambulance service
    • Fire service
    • Emergency call center
    • Hospital
    • Law enforcement
    • Military



Step 2.  Obtain the Necessary Pre-Hire Training and Education

If you do not have experience fielding emergency calls, getting an associate’s degree in a field related to emergency services should help you when you apply for a position as a dispatch specialist.

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You can obtain the following degrees from Michigan colleges or from online educational institutions that serve Michigan residents:

  • Communications
  • Criminal justice
  • Emergency management
  • Fire science
  • Police science

If you are using a college degree to fulfill one of the requirements, you need to have the institution send official transcripts directly to the Human Resources Department.  This can either be in the form of the following:

  • Paper transcripts sent to Oakland County Human Resources Department, Building 41 West, 2100 Pontiac Lake Road, Waterford, MI  48328
  • Secure certified PDF sent to [email protected]



Step 3.  Complete the Application Process

You can apply for jobs with Oakland County online. You can add a resume.

Be sure to save your application frequently as you work on it, because the system will time you out if you have spent 15 minutes on a page.  You must click “SUBMIT” when you have completed your application. This site provides tips on applying.

Once your application has been reviewed, you will be notified about your status.  When you have been shown to be a promising candidate, Human Resources will notify you in writing of the appointment time for a written examination.

This test is designed to evaluate abilities, knowledge, skills, and other factors that help to gauge how good you would be as a 911 operator.  You should be prepared to show a picture ID when you go to take the exam.

Once you have been chosen as a promising candidate, the department will thoroughly investigate your background and examine your following records:

  • Criminal
  • Employment
  • Home
  • Military
  • School


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Step 4.  Undergo Training

After you have been vetted and shown to be an exceptional candidate, you will be trained in both of the following:

  • Emergency Medical Dispatch (EMD)
  • Emergency Fire Dispatch (EFD)

Some 911 dispatchers in Oakland County volunteer to serve as designated fire dispatchers.

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