In the city of Minneapolis, 9-1-1 dispatch operators are called police-fire dispatchers. They are hired directly by the city of Minneapolis to serve the Minneapolis Police Department, Minneapolis Fire Department, Hennepin County Ambulance Dispatch and North Memorial Ambulance Dispatch.
The city of Minneapolis often has a need for dedicated and professional police-fire dispatchers, due in part to the following reasons:
- Minneapolis has a relatively high crime rate and is safer than only 5 percent of American cities.
- In Minneapolis there is a 1 in 104 chance of being a victim of crime, compared to a 1 in 452 chance for the state of Minnesota as a whole.
- Minneapolis has a higher rate of both murder and rape than the U.S. average.
- The cold and other weather conditions can make driving and outdoor activities especially dangerous in Minneapolis.
There are several steps to becoming a 911 dispatcher in Minneapolis. These steps include:
|Meet Education and Job Qualifications in Minneapolis|
|Apply For a Position in Minneapolis|
|On-the-Job Training And Skills Development|
|Seek Additional Certifications|
Step 1. Meet Education and Job Qualifications in Minneapolis
The city of Minneapolis has set a high school diploma or equivalent as the minimum educational requirement to become a police-fire dispatcher. In order to be best prepared for the position, and to become a competitive job candidate, it is advisable that you seek a higher level of education such as a college degree. There are many colleges and universities in the Minneapolis area offering programs related to 911 dispatch.
- Strayer University - Bachelors of Science Degree in Criminal Justice
- Michigan State University - Master of Science in Criminal Justice
- Rasmussen College - Justice Studies Programs offering a wide range of industry-relevant programs
- Utica College - Online Bachelor's of Science in Criminal Justice
The city of Minneapolis recommends coursework in the following areas. These areas of study will help you to build a good foundation for the police-fire dispatcher position:
- Police Science. Police science coursework will familiarize you with different aspects of police work, including theory and practices. This course work will be invaluable to 911 dispatcher jobs, as it will prepare you to better relate with the police. It will also help you better guide the callers who may have to interact with police officers.
- Communications. A career as a police-fire dispatcher can be said to be primarily a communications career. You will be required to not only execute clear communication with coworkers and callers, but you will also be required to operate multiple communications systems. A degree in communications should prepare you on all fronts.
- Emergency Response. A degree in emergency response will help prepare you for some of the more difficult aspects of the job, including helping callers through life or death situations.
Step 2. Apply For a Position in Minneapolis
In order to apply for emergency dispatch jobs, you can go to the website for the city of Minneapolis and search for an open Police-Fire Dispatch position with the Minneapolis Emergency Communications Center. The city of Minneapolis only accepts applications for open positions, so check frequently to see if new dispatcher jobs become available.
Once you are selected for an interview you will be given more information on how to schedule the required testing.
Police-fire dispatchers in Minneapolis are paid a salary of $21.31 per hour to $28.97 per hour. There are several job qualifications you must meet in order to successfully apply for the position. Some of these job qualifications include:
- Be 18 years of age
- Availability to work any schedule, which includes 24 hours per day, 7 days per week, weekends, and holidays
- Pass a thorough background check
- Pass a medical screen, including drug check
- One year in customer service position or as a 9-1-1 operator
- Pass typing test (5000 keystrokes per hour)
- Pass computer skills assessment with a 70% or more
Step 3. On-the-Job Training And Skills Development
Before beginning your job assignment you will need to have several skills, which will be further developed on the job. These skills include:
- Ability to work well under stress
- Ability to work in a fast-paced environment
- Knowledge of geographical features of the city of Minneapolis, including roads and landmarks
- Basic knowledge of police and fire dispatch procedures
There are many skills you will need to learn on the job in order to successfully perform your duties as a police-fire dispatcher in Minneapolis. Among these skill are:
- How to operate relevant computer systems
- How to work with other agencies, such as police and fire departments
- How to train other staff on aspects of the job
- How to perform relevant research required of the position
- How to perform relevant equipment maintenance
Step 4. Seek Additional Certifications
The city of Minneapolis wants the best police-fire dispatch force possible. As such, it is strongly recommended that you seek additional certifications in order to continue to develop your skills and stay up-to-date with developments in the field. Some of the better certifications to consider include:
- The Emergency Police Dispatch (EPD) certification program is designed to prepare you to use all the relevant police dispatch systems and technology you are likely to work with on the job.
- The American Heart Association Healthcare Provider CPR certification will help ensure that you are proficient in giving CPR. This may be something you need to instruct others to do over the phone while performing your job functions.
- The Criminal Justice Information Services (CJIS) certification will train you to use the many criminal databases you may find on the job.