How to Become a 911 Dispatcher in Cincinnati, Ohio

911 emergency communications services in Hamilton County (which includes the City of Cincinnati) are provided by the Hamilton County Department of Communications – 911 Communications. In 2012 alone, 911 dispatchers in Hamilton County answered 688,817 calls.

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The Hamilton County Department of Communications’ Public Safety Communications Division includes a consolidated 911 center, which provides emergency communications to 105 police, fire and EMS agencies in more than 42 political jurisdictions.

If you want to learn how to become a 911 dispatcher in Hamilton County, you must complete these three steps:

Prepare for Employment in Hamilton County
Apply for Employment in Hamilton County and Achieve Certifications
Earn Mandatory Certification



Step 1. Prepare for Employment in Hamilton County

There are a host of college programs that provide suitable coursework for a career in emergency communications, including:

  • Emergency Management
  • Homeland Security
  • Public Safety
  • Criminal Justice
  • Communications

A degree in public safety, for example, may include a number of relevant topics:

  • Foundations of Public Safety
  • Administrative Law
  • Hazard Mitigation
  • Public Relations
  • Issues in Disaster Response
  • Business Ethics
  • Critical Infrastructure Protection
  • Professional Writing



Step 2. Apply for Employment in Hamilton County

To apply for a 911 dispatcher job in Hamilton County, you must find a job posting for a 911 dispatcher on Hamilton County’s Human Resources job openings page.

Once you locate an open position, you can apply and submit your resume online.

Before pursuing employment as a 911 dispatcher in Hamilton County, you must ensure you meet the minimum requirements for employment, which include being at least 18 years old and possessing a high school diploma or GED.

You must possess good communication skills and be able to successfully multi-task, as well. Previous experience in a public safety dispatching environment is preferred, but not mandatory.

Although possessing a college degree is not a requirement for attaining a 911 dispatcher job in Hamilton County, many individuals still choose to pursue an associate or bachelor’s degree as to obtain a well-rounded foundation of knowledge in the field of emergency communications.



Step 3. Earn Mandatory Certification

All 911 dispatchers in Hamilton County must complete a course of training, which includes achieving certification in the following:

  • EMD certification
  • APCO Basic Telecommunicator Certification
  • RCIC, NCIC, and LEADS certification (as required)

The APCO Basic Telecommunicator Certification is a 40-hour program that culminates in a written examination. Topics covered in this course include:

  • Roles and responsibilities
  • Communication and call processing
  • Radio broadcast procedures
  • Stress management
  • Legal aspects of emergency telecommunication
  • Call classification

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