How to Become a 911 Dispatcher in Rochester, Minnesota

9-1-1 dispatchers are called public safety communications dispatchers in Rochester. They dispatch law enforcement, fire, and EMS and work for the Rochester/Olmsted County Public Safety Communications Center (PSCC.) There is often a need for well-qualified and professional emergency dispatchers in Rochester, in part due to the following:

  • Rochester has a small population but receives tens of thousands of emergency calls per year
  • Your chances of being a victim of crime in Rochester are 1 in 560
  • Rochester is in the top half of U.S. cities with the highest rates of crime.
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There are several steps to becoming a public safety communications dispatcher in Rochester including:

Get an Education and Meet Job Requirements
Apply For a Position in Rochester
Get Certified
On-the-Job Training And Skills Development



Step 1. Get an Education and Meet Job Requirements

One of the best ways to enter the emergency dispatch career field in Rochester is to beef up your education credentials. Though the city has set its minimum educational standards as a high school diploma or equivalent, you can dramatically increase your chances of success by seeking higher education.

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Getting a college degree in a relevant field will both help you jump ahead of the competition and prepare you for the challenges you will face on the job. Some of the emergency dispatch related courses you will find at area institutions of higher learning include:

  • Business Administration. A degree in business administration will prepare you for the organizational aspects of your career. Also, you will operate under a high amount of autonomy in this position. The business administration degree will prepare you for the administration aspect of the position.
  • Nursing. In the line of duty you will come across medical emergencies. Being able to effectively assist the caller in such circumstances will be of utmost importance. A degree in nursing will prepare you to help give lifesaving assistance to your callers.
  • Biomedical Informatics. In the line of duty you will also be responsible for maintaining and updating numerous computer systems. These systems will help to form the official database of what happened during the call. A degree in biomedical informatics will prepare you to use various computer systems, and prepare you to make through and detailed notes of all statuses.

There are a number of qualifications you will need to meet in order to qualify to apply for the public safety communications dispatcher position in Rochester.  These qualifications include:

  • Having a valid Minnesota driver’s license
  • Must acquire Minnesota Criminal Justice Information Systems certification within 6 months
  • Pass background check, including fingerprinting
  • Completion of multi-tasking test
  • 1 year in relevant work preferred
  • Bilingual preferred



Step 2. Apply For a Position in Rochester

Before applying for the job position you will need to go online and create a Job Seeker account. After you have registered search for an opening and apply for the job. You can see a tutorial of how to apply online by going here.  If you have a problem applying online contact human resources at [email protected] or call 507-328-2555.

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Once your application is received, and it is determined that you may be a fit for the job position, you will be scheduled for an interview and the multi-tasking test.



Step 3. Get Certified

As a requisite of maintaining your employment with the city of Rochester you will need to take and pass the Minnesota Criminal Justice Information Systems certification exam. You will be given more information regarding studying and testing when you are hired for the job. You can also call the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension at (651) 793-7000 for more information.



Step 4. On-the-Job Training And Skills Development

As you progress in your career you will need to develop your skills in order to complete your job duties and responsibilities. Additional skills and abilities you will need include:

  • Substantial knowledge of fire, EMS, and law enforcement counterparts’ operations and procedures
  • Have knowledge of the interrelationship between local, state, and federal government agencies
  • Familiarity with the geography of Rochester and Olmsted County
  • Familiarity with multiline communications systems
  • Familiarity with radio dispatch systems
  • Familiarity with dispatch codes and procedures

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