The Fort Worth Police Communications center is responsible for answering all 911 calls made in the city, including those regarding fire and medical emergencies. As an emergency dispatcher, you will be part of the response team providing service in response to more than one million calls made to Fort Worth Police Communications every year.
If you feel you possess the right natural abilities and are willing to develop your professional credentials, consider the following guide to learn how to become a 911 dispatcher in Fort Worth:
|Become a Competitive Job Candidate
|Apply with the City of Fort Worth
|Participate in Training
|Maintain your Skills
Step 1. Become a Competitive Job Candidate
911 dispatch jobs with the Fort Worth Police Communications center stipulates the following requirements:
- Must have at least two years of work experience with the same employer
- Bilingual candidates are preferred
It is always a good idea to consider studying for a degree. This will benefit you both in the short-term job screening process, as well as in your long-term career potential. Often times having a two or four-year degree is one of the criterion used when evaluating a large pool of candidates.
Degree fields relevant to emergency dispatchers include:
- Homeland Security
- Public Health
- Disaster and Emergency Management
- Criminal Justice
There are at least three-dozen colleges in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, with more available online.
Step 2. Apply with the City of Fort Worth
Applications for 911 dispatcher jobs are only accepted online, and to begin the application process you will need to register for an account with the city.
Next you can search the city’s current job openings webpage for any vacancies and proceed to apply through the job announcement. If there are no vacancies you can check back later with the website or contact administrators with the city and police department.
Before you begin working you will also need to pass the CritiCall Skills Assessment Test offered at City Hall on Throckmortan Street. You do not need to make an appointment for this test, which is offered Monday through Friday between 9am and 3pm. This test will evaluate your ability to accurately multitask.
Step 3. Participate in Training
Included in the Fort Worth 911 dispatcher job description for Public Safety Communicator, you will find the required 911 operator training:
- TCLEOSE (Texas Commission on Law Enforcement Officer Standards and Education) Certification as a Telecommunicator
- TCIC/NCIC (Texas/National Crime Information Center) Certification, available through TCLEOSE
There are many other 911 dispatcher training credentials offered through several agencies in the Fort Worth area with additional opportunities online, including:
- Emergency Medical Dispatch
- Emergency Fire Dispatch
- Police and Law Enforcement Dispatching
- CPR and First Aid
Step 4. Maintain Your Skills
Staying sharp as an emergency call taker is an important part of your job that can potentially make the difference between life and death. Organizations such as the Texas Chapter of the National Emergency Number Association (NENA) can provide you with a calendar of events for speakers and other educational opportunities.
When combined with increasing experience, your continued training and academic credentials can add up to make you a strong candidate for promotion opportunities for specialized positions within Police Communications such as:
- Working with the Police Information Center which provides rapid research for officers in the field
- Updating and maintaining the TCIC and NCIC
- Working with the Communications Research and Investigation Unit (CRIU) to provide 911 audio recordings for use as evidence and in investigations