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How to Become a 911 Dispatcher in Brown County, South Dakota

As an emergency dispatcher you will serve your local community at the Brown County Communications Center (BC3), located on Market Street in Aberdeen. BC3 provides emergency dispatch services for the City of Aberdeen as well as 15 other agencies located throughout the county, a territorial area that adds up to 1,700 square miles. Working with BC3 means being a part of one of the most technologically cutting-edge centers in the state; in 2009 BC3 was the law enforcement agency in South Dakota to implement a new software reporting program that provided real-time crime data to its citizens.

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If providing life-saving help to the residents and guests of the county is an appealing prospect, review the following steps to learn how to become a 911 dispatcher in Brown County, South Dakota:

Become Qualified for 911 Dispatcher Jobs in Brown County
Submit an Application
Develop and Advance your Career

 


 

Step 1. Becoming Qualified for 911 Dispatcher Jobs in Brown County

As specified in the 911dispatcher job description for Brown County, you will need to have proven communication skills, be responsible and reliable, and have the ability to learn new skills competently. These and additional relevant skills can be demonstrated with a college degree. Besides providing a credible demonstration of essential skills, a college degree – available at colleges both in Aberdeen and online – in any of the following subjects will also show a certain level of specific expertise and advance the 911 dispatcher career ceiling:

  • Nursing
  • Law Enforcement
  • Communications
  • Psychology
  • Fire Science
  • Philosophy and Logic

Becoming a 911 operator in Brown County involves a competitive application process where you will be evaluated alongside potentially hundreds of other applicants. Distinguishing yourself above your competition is one of the best things you can do prior to submitting a job application, and that means obtaining 911 dispatcher training and education.

BC3 maintains links with two professional certification and 911 operator training agencies:

  • National Emergency Number Association (NENA), offering:

  • Emergency Number Professional Certification
  • Next-Generation 911 Primer Course: What, Why, When, and How
  • Missing Persons for Telecommunicators Certification
  • Fire Service Certification
  • Emergency Medical Dispatch Certification
  • Disaster Operations and the Communications Center

  • Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials (APCO), offering:

 


 

Step 2. Submitting an Application

Applications are submitted to Brown County through an official application process. You can always submit an application, but it will not be considered until a vacancy notice is posted on the County’s employment vacancy webpage. Besides the website you can also monitor local media sources and the newspaper classifieds for BC3 job postings.

When filling out the application do not forget to sign it at the end. The application itself consists of four pages including a pre-employment agreement and asks questions regarding your:

  • Employment history
  • Veteran status
  • Driver’s license
  • Level of education

 


 

Step 3. Developing and Advancing your Career

As a 911 dispatcher you will periodically need to complete continuing education provided by Brown County to ensure you stay nimble and efficient as an emergency operator. As you gain experience and advance in your career you may be asked to obtain additional certifications and have the opportunity to train new recruits.

You can always do this on your own as well, moving at a faster pace than BC3 requires and therefore distinguishing yourself for a more rapid promotion or transfer to a state or federal agency with greater opportunities. Regardless of where your career takes you, there will always be the satisfaction you are providing a life-saving service to the residents and visitors of Brown County. Last year 911 dispatchers responded to the following crimes in Aberdeen alone:

  • 69 violent crimes in total
  • 23 forcible rapes
  • 45 aggravated assaults
  • 507 property crimes in total
  • 27 motor vehicle thefts
  • 88 burglaries

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