How to Become a 911 Dispatcher in Knoxville, Tennessee

The Knox County Emergency Communications District is a state-of-the-art facility located on Bernard Avenue in Knoxville. Working as an Emergency Communications Technician, you will be responsible for dispatching fire, ambulance, and police units across the county as part of the response team for approximately 619,217 calls for service.

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If you are interested in a life-saving public service job then review the following steps to learn how to become a 911 dispatcher in Knox County, Tennessee:

Strengthen your Credentials
Apply with the Knox County Emergency Communications District
Maintain your Edge



Step 1. Strengthening Your Credentials

Because of the high level of competition for 911 dispatcher jobs in Knox County it is recommended to do everything possible to improve your employment merits.

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The Emergency Communications District maintains links with the following organizations. Utilizing their certification and 911 operator training opportunities will demonstrate your commitment and proven qualifications in the field in a language the District understands:

Acquiring training in any of the following technological programs can improve your experience during the job interview, as these are the programs used by the Emergency Communications District:

  • Enhanced 911
  • Computer Aided Dispatching
  • Motorola radio systems
  • GPS navigation

To supplement any 911 dispatcher training you can also consider a pertinent degree that will increase your employment credentials and broaden your overall possibilities. There are at least six area colleges located in Knoxville with additional educational programs available online. Useful degrees include:

  • Emergency Management
  • Public Safety
  • Law Enforcement
  • Homeland Security
  • Psychology
  • Communications



Step 2. Applying with the Knox County Emergency Communications District

Knox County provides a full job description for its Emergency Communications Technicians, a 911 dispatcher’s official title, and you can submit an application for consideration to the Knox County Emergency Communications District.

After reviewing your application, if you are chosen to continue in the application process you will need to pass a skills examination which evaluates the following abilities:

  • Correctly entering data
  • Multitasking
  • Processing and comprehending information

You must be able to type 2,500 keystrokes per hour and be at least 19 years old to be considered for employment.



Step 3. Maintaining Your Edge

As a 911 dispatcher who takes your job seriously, you should always keep up with the latest developments in your field, especially technological developments as these change rapidly and have wide-reaching implications for computer and telephone dispatchers.

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One way of doing this is by joining a professional association such as the Tennessee Emergency Number Association (TENA) which maintains a calendar of upcoming speakers, events, trainings, and conferences in the emergency dispatching field.

Maintaining your dispatcher edge will ensure you are making life-saving decisions that are as informed as possible, and also put you in a good light for promotions and beneficial job transfers up the Knox County career ladder or with other state and federal agencies.

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