New Hampshire has one Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP), which is located in Concord and is overseen by the State’s Bureau of Emergency Communications. This New Hampshire PSAP, which receives about 2,000 calls daily, is staffed with 911 dispatchers (called telecommunications specialists), who are responsible for serving as the communications link between the public and public safety agencies. As such, they are called upon to transfer emergency calls to the appropriate dispatch center.
The PSAP earned accreditation as a center of excellence by the National Academies of Emergency Medical Dispatch in 1999, which maintains a rigorous, 20-point rubric for accreditation.
If you want to learn how to become a 911 dispatcher at Concord’s PSAP, you must be prepared to complete a number of steps:
|Meet Minimum Education and Experience Requirements|
|Submit a New Hampshire State Application|
|Pass Pre-Employment Testing|
|Obtain Certification within 90 Days of Hire|
Step 1. Meet Minimum Education and Experience Requirements
To be eligible for employment in Concord as a 911 operator, you must possess a high school diploma or GED. Further, you must also possess at least 5 years of experience in a service-oriented position, such as a:
- Emergency Medical Technician
- Law Enforcement Officer
- Outside Customer Service Representative
- Public Safety Official
Other professions that required you to possess quick response and accuracy and where you would have a high volume of public interaction are also considered.
- Grand Canyon University - B.S. in Justice Studies, 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
However, you may also substitute each year of approved formal education for one year of required work experience. A college degree in a field related to this profession may be helpful for meeting the experience requirements for the position of a 911 operator and for future advancement in the field.
You may choose to pursue a program that is closely related to this profession, such as:
- Public Safety
- Homeland Security
- Emergency Management
For example, a bachelor’s degree in communications in Concord often includes study in public speaking, public relations, interpersonal communications, and communications law, all of which provide a 911 operator with a solid foundation of knowledge for their profession.
Step 2. Submit a New Hampshire State Application
Once you have ensured you meet the minimum requirements for employment, you must submit a state application for employment and have the application certified by the New Hampshire Division of Personnel. Contact the Division of Personnel at 603-271-3261 to receive instructions for submitting your application. You may also contact Robert Christensen at 603-271-6911 if you have any questions regarding the application process.
Step 3. Pass Pre-Employment Testing
Chosen candidates for 911 operator jobs will be contacted by the Division of Personnel to schedule a written exam and oral interview by an interview panel, both of which are administered by the Bureau of Emergency Communications (BEC).
The multiple-choice, written examination is designed to measure your possession of knowledge, skills and abilities of 911 operators.
Upon passing the written and oral interview, you will be required to take and pass a pre-employment substance and hearing test. The BEC is responsible for determining if you present an acceptable job compatibility profile.
Step 4. Obtain Certification within 90 Days of Hire
Once you have been hired as a 911 operator for the Bureau of Emergency Communications, you will be required to obtain certification as a certified TTY/TDD operator and an Emergency Medical Dispatch and a within 90 days of hire, which requires the completion of three, 16-week classes. You must also achieve and maintain CPR certification (which requires a bi-annual renewal).