How to Become a 911 Dispatcher in Nevada

Nevada has a crime rate that is significantly higher than the average for the country. This includes higher than average rates of murder, rape, and robbery. Though Nevada has been fighting against drunk driving, the state continues to see a rate of 2.6 alcohol related fatalities per 100,000 residents. 9-1-1 operators in Nevada can expect to field calls relating to general accidents, DUI related auto accidents, violent crime, and more.

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Because Nevada has most of its population concentrated in just a few large cities, most emergency dispatch positions can be found in police departments serving the state’s larger cities:

  • Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department –  9-1-1 operators in this city can expect a heavy workload due to the city’s culture. Las Vegas has a population of about 1.4 million but is visited by millions more annually.
  • Henderson Police Department –  Henderson is the second largest city in Nevada by population with about 281,000 residents.
  • Reno Police Department –  Reno is another popular gaming location in Nevada and is virtually tied with Henderson in population.


Education and Certification Options

One of the best ways to become a 9-1-1 operator in Nevada is to get ahead of the competition by earning a college degree. Nevada has a college graduation rate of about 44 percent, and an unemployment rate of 9.5 percent.

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There are several degree programs offered by Nevada universities which will help prepare the applicant for a career as a 9-1-1 dispatch operator. Among these degree programs are:

  • Pre-law
  • Nursing
  • Pre-Med
  • Communications

Like most states, Nevada leaves it to local municipalities to determine eligibility requirements for emergency dispatch personnel. There is no statewide license or certification requirement. However, there are certain certifications that the applicant can proactively acquire to stand out from the crowd. These certifications include:

  • The Red Cross CPR certification will prepare the applicant to assist callers in giving CPR over the phone. This skill can be very important for a 9-1-1 operator.
  • The Criminal Justice Information Services certification prepares the applicant to work with criminal justice databases, which is likely to be a part of the job.
  • The Emergency Medical Dispatch certification is given by the International Academies of Emergency Dispatch. This certification shows that the applicant has been trained on medical dispatch procedures and technology.


Job Requirements and Pay

When on the job hunt it is best for the applicant to directly contact the local municipalities to apply. This can be done easily over the internet.  There is no one set of standards to become an emergency dispatcher in Nevada, but the standards given by each municipality tend to be similar.

For example, in Las Vegas a Dispatch Specialist is hired by the police department. Requirements include:

  • Must possess a valid typing certificate
  • Must be able to type 45 words per minute
  • High school diploma or GED
  • Knowledge of radio-telephone procedures and operations
  • Familiarity with basic civil and criminal law
  • Familiarity with geography in the Las Vegas area
  • Familiarity with call screening techniques
  • Familiarity with how to work with such databases as NCIC, SCOPE, NCJIS

The pay for the above position starts at $18.23 per hour. The top pay is $26.98 per hour.

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Learn about NENA

The reason the United States has a sophisticated and well developed emergency dial system is because hundreds of professionals all over the country have worked diligently to make this important goal a reality. In particular the National Emergency Number Association  has worked with the dozens of local chapters to help standardize emergency dial services in the country.  It is advisable that those looking to go into a career of emergency dispatch join with this important organization and become active.

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