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How to Become a 911 Dispatcher in Kanawha County, WV

Metro 911 of Kanawha County provides emergency medical, fire, and police dispatch services to the citizens of Charleston and throughout the county’s non-metro areas. As a 911 dispatcher you will work alongside 88 full and part-time employees earning a starting base salary of $22,500, which increases to $29,300 after two years.

If you are willing to work hard to become qualified and want to know more about how to become a 911 dispatcher in Kanawha County, review these three steps:

Prepare for the Job
Apply with Metro 911 of Kanawha County
Develop your Expertise

 


 

Step 1. Prepare for the Job

There are two universities, one community college, and additional opportunities online where you can find relevant degree programs offered in Kanawha County. Having a degree demonstrates a level of commitment and expertise that can also help your future promotional options.

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Utica College - Online Bachelor's of Science in Criminal Justice

On top of having relevant experience, you can also consider studying for a degree in the following fields:

  • Communications
  • Law Enforcement
  • Public Safety
  • Criminal Justice
  • Psychology
  • Emergency Management

There are a variety of certifications and 911 dispatcher training courses you will need to complete once you are hired. Having accomplished any of the following prior to hire, or having related experience, can be a definite plus for demonstrating your qualifications:

  • Emergency services training
  • Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials (APCO) Basic Telecommunicators Course
  • Advanced Computer Assisted Dispatch course
  • Advanced communications training
  • Telecommunications Device for the Deaf (TDD)
  • National Warning System (NAWAS)
  • Integrated Flood Observing and Warning System (IFLOWS)
  • National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB)
  • VIN-Assist Computer program
  • National Auto Theft Bureau (NATB)
  • County chemical plant emergency radio system
  • West Virginia Automated Police Network (WEAPON)

 


 

Step 2. Apply with Metro 911 of Kanawha County

Applications can be presented in person or by mail to the Emergency Operations Center in the Southridge Business Park at 200 Payton Way. To apply for 911 dispatcher jobs in Kanawha County you will need to submit a completed application along with the following:

  • Educational transcripts
  • Certified copy of high school diploma
  • Certified copy of birth certificate

You will officially be applying for the job of Telecommunicator. You can apply anytime, and if you do not hear back from the Emergency Operations Center within 90 days you will need to apply again.

 


 

Step 3. Develop Your Expertise

If you want to advance faster than the $6,800 pay raise you will get after your first two years of service with Metro 911 then it is advisable to keep up with the advances in the emergency dispatching field and improve your skills set, both of which can be accomplished by keeping up with educational opportunities offered through organizations such as these:

  • West Virginia Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management (WVDHSEM)
  • Continuing training opportunities with Metro 911 of Kanawha County
  • Trainings offered through the Kanawha County Office of Emergency Management
  • Continuing education offered through APCO

You will also need to maintain a current CPR certification while you are employed with the agency.

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