9-1-1 dispatchers for the city of Omaha, Nebraska are hired and managed by Douglas County. They dispatch for police, fire, and EMS and are referred to as communications dispatchers. They work for the Communications Department. The city of Omaha has a constant need for professional and reliable communications dispatchers, as they are the first line of contact in many emergencies, including accidents and crimes. Some factors that affect the need for 911 dispatchers in Omaha include:
- Your chances of becoming a victim of crime in Omaha are 1 in 168.
- Omaha has rates of murder, rape, and assault which are far higher than the national averages.
- Omaha is only safer than 8 percent of the cities in the United States.
In order to become a 911 dispatcher in Omaha, there are several steps you must follow:
|Consider Education And Job Requirements|
|Apply For a Position in Omaha|
|Complete EMD and ETC Certifications|
|On-the-Job Training And Skills Development|
Step 1. Consider Education and Job Requirements
Douglas County requires you to have a high school diploma or GED in order to qualify for 911 dispatcher jobs in Omaha. However, you are advised to seek higher education in order to prepare yourself for the job position, as well as in order to better position yourself competitively.
- 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
Most of the Omaha area institutions of higher learning offer courses which will help to prepare you for a job as a communications dispatcher. These courses include:
- Business Administration. A degree in business administration will help you develop the organizational skills you will need on the job. Additionally, this degree may help you further your career should you decide to seek promotion.
- Communications. By obtaining a degree in communications you will become familiar with many of the systems and procedures you will encounter in the emergency response field. Additionally, because the emergency response field is based on communications, this degree will prepare you for the core aspects of your career.
- Psychology. A psychology degree will help you prepare for the callers who will be your clients on the job. Many will call the center in various levels of panic. Your degree in psychology will prepare you to better assist these callers.
Communications operators in Douglas County are paid a salary ranging from $18.24 – $24.38 hourly. There are many qualities and qualifications you must meet in order to successfully apply for the position including:
- You must be able to type 40 words per minute
- Six months work history. History which shows familiarity with EMS terminology is preferred
- Valid driver’s license
- Ability to work any schedule 365 days per year, 24 hours per day.
- Must pass criminal background check
- Must pass drug screen
- Must pass psychological screen
- Bilingual Spanish is preferred
Step 2. Apply For a Position in Omaha
In order to take the next step towards being a 911 dispatcher in Omaha you should apply for the position. In order to apply go here and create a profile. Search for the communications dispatcher position and apply.
Step 3. Complete EMD and ETC Certifications
Within the first year of employment you must obtain the following certifications, if you are to continue your employment:
Step 4. On-the-Job Training And Skills Development
You will be trained on the aspects and expectations of the job after you are selected for a position. There will be a number of skills and abilities that you will need to develop and acquire in order to have success at your new position. These skills and abilities include:
- Learn policies and procedures of the Douglas County Communications Department and local law and fire agencies.
- Learn administrative policies and procedures of Douglas County
- Knowledge of the geography of the City of Omaha and Douglas County. This would include streets, landmarks, and general directions.
- Ability to read maps and give accurate directions
- Ability to use telecommunications equipment including computer systems and radio systems
- Ability to use Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) systems
- Learn medical terminology
- Ability to work well under pressure, including in life threatening emergencies.
- Ability to work well with others