In the city of Missoula 911 emergency operators are called emergency dispatchers. They dispatch emergency fire, police, sheriff, and EMS and work in the Missoula 9-1-1 Center. Missoula always has a need for well qualified emergency dispatchers in part due to the following:
- Missoula fields over 13,000 emergency and non-emergency calls per month.
- Missoula has a rate of rape and theft which are higher than the national average.
- Missoula is only safer than 9 percent of U.S. cities, and has a crime rate which is higher than the average for Montana.
The steps for becoming an emergency dispatcher in Missoula include:
|Meet Education and Job Requirements|
|Apply For a Position in Missoula|
|Take The Missoula County 911 Dispatch Training Program|
|On-the-Job Training And Skills Development|
Step 1. Meet Education and Job Requirements
In order to qualify to become an emergency dispatcher in Missoula you must possess a minimum of a high school diploma or equivalent. However, if you desire to be a well-qualified applicant you should seek higher education. This is beneficial both from the perspective for being better able to compete for the job position, and being better prepared for the demands of the job.
- Grand Canyon University - B.S. in Justice Studies, and M.S. in Criminal Justice
- SNHU - A.S. in Criminal Justice, B.S. in Criminal Justice - Police Administrations & Operations, and M.S. in Criminal Justice
- 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
There are a number of courses offered in learning institutions in Missoula which can help you lay the foundation for a career as a Missoula emergency dispatcher including:
- Information Technology. A degree or certificate in information technology will prepare you for the information aspect of the job. You should expect to deal with many information systems while on the job, especially computer systems and databases.
- Management. Obtaining a degree in management will help you develop the poise and composure needed in order to successfully complete your job functions. Also, if you plan to move up the ranks and go into management at some time this degree could be very helpful.
- Medical Assisting. A certificate in medical assisting will prepare you to help callers give medical assistance to themselves and others. This could be a very important base of knowledge which will be called upon in life or death situations.
The median salary for an emergency dispatcher in Missoula is $20,112. There are many qualifications you need to meet in order to successfully apply for the job position. Some of these qualifications include:
- Innate poise under pressure
- Knowledge of Missoula’s roadways and landmarks
- Ability to work any schedule, including overnights, weekends, and all holidays
- Clean background
- Ability to type quickly and accurately
Step 2. Apply For a Position in Missoula
In order to have an opportunity to interview for the emergency dispatcher job position in Missoula, you will need to apply for the job. You will need to create an account, search for the job, and then complete the job application. You will be contacted if you have been selected to move to the next step in the process. You can also contact Missoula Job Service at 406.542.5786 or Missoula County Human Resources at 406.258.4874 if you need help applying.
Step 3. Take The Missoula County 911 Dispatch Training Program
You will need to take the Missoula County 9-1-1 dispatch course. In this course you will:
- Learn the history of the center
- Learn about the emergency dispatcher selection process
- Get information about the job and its requirements
- Listen to real 9-1-1 calls
- Have a chance to ask questions
Step 4. On-the-Job Training And Skills Development
In performing your job functions you will continue your skills development. Many of these skills will be covered in the previous training course, and will be solidified on the job. These will include:
- Becoming familiar with how to differentiate between emergency and non-emergency calls
- Becoming familiar with how to prioritize calls
- Becoming familiar with dispatch codes
- Becoming familiar with how to navigate and use relevant technology
- Becoming familiar with how to dispatch different units