How to Become a 911 Dispatcher in Nashua, New Hampshire

The Nashua Police Department has 179 sworn officers and more than 90,000 residents. Nashua continues to be one of New England’s fastest growing cities and is New Hampshire’s second largest city. Within the Nashua Police Department’s Services Bureau is the Communications Division, which includes 11 police dispatchers and 12 communications technicians.

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The 911 operators within the Communications Division are responsible for receiving 911 emergency calls, entering the pertinent information into the CAD system, and then transmitting it to the police dispatchers, who then provide the police officers and other emergency personnel with the information they need.

If you want to join the Nashua Police Department as a 911 operator, you must be prepared to complete a number of steps:

Meet Minimum Requirements for Employment in Nashua
Apply for Employment and Complete the Selection Process
Achieve and Maintain Required Certification



Step 1. Meet Minimum Requirements for Employment

Before applying for a job as a 911 dispatcher in Nashua, you must ensure you meet the minimum requirements for employment. Specifically, you must be at least 21 years old, and you must possess a valid driver’s license and a high school diploma or GED.

Many of these professionals choose to pursue a college degree because it often provides them with greater opportunities for advancement and it often satisfies some or all of the experience requirements for specific positions.

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For example, associate and bachelor’s programs in communications, emergency management, homeland security, and public safety are commonplace, and even such fields and computer science provide 911 operators with an excellent understanding of the computer systems they must operate.

A degree in homeland security, for example, often includes study in the following topics, most of which are directly related to 911 dispatching:

  • Sociology
  • Counterterrorism
  • Emergency medical responder
  • Catastrophic incident response
  • Emergency contingency plans
  • Cyber forensics

Just a few of the homeland security and related degree programs that you may pursue include:

  • Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice with a Homeland Security Specialty
  • Bachelor of Science in Intelligence Management
  • Bachelor of Science in Management of Personal Protection
  • Bachelor of Science in Homeland Security and Public Safety
  • Associate of Arts in Disaster Management
  • Bachelor of Science in Science of Disaster Response
  • Bachelor of Science with a Minor in Homeland Security
  • Bachelor of Arts in Emergency Services
  • Associate of Applied Science in Emergency Management



Step 2. Apply for Employment and Complete the Selection Process

After ensuring you meet the minimum requirements for employment, you may apply for a job as a 911 dispatcher through the Nashua Police Department by downloading and printing an application. However, applications for 911 dispatchers only appear when there is a job opening.

Once you have submitted an application and have been chosen as a candidate, you must complete the Department’s selection process, which may include the following:

  • Written entrance exam
  • Oral interview
  • Polygraph test
  • Drug screening test
  • Background investigation



Step 3. Achieve and Maintain Required Certification

As a new 911 dispatcher in Nashua, you must be able to obtain and maintain certification as an Emergency Medical Dispatcher within 90 days of your hire. You must also obtain and maintain CPR certification.

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Emergency Medical Dispatch certification requires the completion of three classes that are 16 weeks long. New hires may also need to complete the Association of Public Safety Communications Officials (APCO) certification program and attend a presentation at the New Hampshire Police Standards and Training Academy.

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