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How to Become a 911 Dispatcher in Raleigh, North Carolina

911 emergency communications in the City of Raleigh, North Carolina and the greater Wake County area are handled by the Raleigh-Wake County Emergency Communications Center, more commonly referred to as the Raleigh-Wake 911.

In an average year, the Raleigh-Wake County Emergency Communications Center receives 800,000 calls, 460,000 of which are dispatched to the appropriate emergency response agency.


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If you want to become a 911 dispatcher and work for the Raleigh-Wake County Emergency Communications Center, you must complete a number of steps:

Meet Minimum Requirements for Employment in Raleigh
Apply for Employment in Raleigh
Complete 911 Dispatcher Training

The 911 dispatchers (also called telecommunicators) of the Raleigh-Wake County Emergency Communications Center provides communication support to all law enforcement, fire, and EMS agencies in Wake County, which includes 860 square miles and the following municipalities:

  • Raleigh
  • Fuquay-Varina
  • Garner
  • Wendall
  • Zebulon
  • Holly Springs
  • Knightdale
  • Morrisville
  • Apex
  • Cury
  • Rolesville
  • Wake Forest

The Emergency Communications Center currently employs 102 personnel in its 5 divisions, which include: Operations, Administrative, Training, Information Technology, and Communications Electronics. Dispatching services are provided for 4 EMS agencies, 8 law enforcement agencies, and 20 fire departments.



Step 1. Meet Minimum Requirements for Employment in Raleigh

Before pursuing a job in 911 dispatching in Raleigh-Wake County, you must first ensure you meet the minimum requirements for employment, which include:

  • You must possess a high school diploma or GED.
  • You must possess at least one year of experience working with communications systems, such as telephones, two-way radios, computer display terminals, and associated control devices.
  • You must have experience that has a high level of public contact, preferably under emergency conditions.

The ideal candidate for a 911 operator job would also:

  • Possess basic Windows skills
  • Be able to type at least 2,500 key strokes per hour
  • Possess professional customer service skills
  • Possess strong multi-tasking abilities
  • Be able to remain focused under stress
  • Be able to act in a decisive manner
  • Be able to learn and apply new information
  • Be able to remember numerous details and have good memory retention

Although a college degree is not a stated requirement for achieving a 911 dispatcher job in Raleigh-Wake County, you may nevertheless choose to pursue a degree program as to better position yourself for future advancements in the profession. Common areas of study include:

  • Public safety
  • Communications
  • Emergency management
  • Homeland security
  • Criminal justice
  • Computer science



Step 2. Apply for Employment in Raleigh

You must complete an application for employment to be considered for a 911 dispatcher job in Raleigh-Wake County. Applications are available on the City of Raleigh’s website and at the City of Raleigh Human Resources Department, which is located on 222 West Hargett Street in Raleigh.

If you are selected as a candidate for a 911 operator job, you will be required to take a skills test. Once you pass the skills test, you will be required to complete the pre-employment process, which includes undergoing a panel interview, a complete background investigation, and a physical and mental evaluation. You can expect the hiring process to last anywhere between 3 and 4 months.

Any questions regarding the application or hiring process can be directed to the Raleigh-Wake County Training Division at 919-996-5050 or at ECCTraining@raleighnc.gov.

Submit your application to the Human Resources either in person at 222 West Hargett Street, 1st floor, by fax at 919-996-7610, or by mail at:

Raleigh Human Resources Department
P.O. Box 590
Raleigh, NC 27602



Step 3. Complete 911 Dispatcher Training

All new 911 dispatcher must complete basic training through the Raleigh-Wake County Emergency Communications Center, which includes a training academy program and an additional 6 to 9 months of hands-on training.

Further, all 911 operators must complete about 40 hours of professional development on an annual basis.

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