How to Become a 911 Dispatcher in Wood County, West Virginia

Working as a 911 operator in the fast-paced environment of the Central Telecommunications Center (CTC) of Wood County you will be responsible for saving lives by dispatching the appropriate police, fire, and ambulance services as needed by callers throughout Wood and Wirt counties. You will work alongside eight supervisors and 17 fellow dispatchers to provide around-the-clock coverage to the cities of:

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  • Parkersburg
  • Vienna
  • Williamstown
  • Elizabeth

If you are prepared to undergo an extensive training process and earn qualifications that can put you in the top percent of the applicant pool, then you may be ready to learn how to become a 911 dispatcher in Wood County by following these three steps:

Earn Qualifying Credentials
Apply for Work with the CTC of Wood County
Ongoing Training in your Field



Step 1. Earn Qualifying Credentials

In the Parkersburg-Marietta-Vienna area the average salary for 911 dispatchers last year was $32,380. With a job that is offering such a competitive wage, you will need to be prepared to offer competitive credentials. Meeting basic requirements like typing 20 words per minute and having a high school diploma or GED are not always enough.

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You can combine any 911 operator training you earn with a related degree to show you are committed to long-term challenges and possess a demonstrable specialization. In addition to the two and four-year college in Parkersburg, you will find other degree opportunities online in relevant subjects such as:

  • Psychology
  • Emergency Management
  • Communications
  • Fire Science
  • Law Enforcement
  • Criminology
  • Homeland Security
  • Criminal Justice

You can improve your chances for employment by meeting the CTC’s stated preferences and continue with related 911 dispatcher training:

  • Previous experience dispatching for police, fire, or medical services
  • Emergency Medical Dispatching Certification
  • 40-hour basic training course from an accredited agency such as:


    • Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials (APCO)
    • National Emergency Number Association (NENA)
    • International Academies of Emergency Dispatch (IAED)



Step 2. Apply for Work with the CTC of Wood County

You can apply for 911 dispatcher jobs, a position officially known as CTC Telecommunicator, with the Central Telecommunications Center (CTC) of Wood County located at 911 Core Road in Parkersburg.

The County posts job openings online, and you can also always check the CTC’s homepage for any vacancy announcements.

When you fill out the job application do not forget you will need to:

  • Live within a 30-minute commuting distance
  • State if you have any criminal convictions
  • State if you are a US citizen and military veteran
  • Pass a background investigation
  • Pass a physical, psychological, and hearing exam



Step 3. Continue Training in your Field

New requirements passed in West Virginia stipulate that starting July 1st of 2013, all 911 dispatchers in the state must have acquired certification as Emergency Medical Dispatchers (EMD) through an organization recognized either nationally or by the West Virginia Office of Emergency Medical Services. If you do not gain this certification before you are hired, you will be required to do so after, along with maintaining this as long as you are employed as a 911 operator.

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Besides maintaining your EMD Certification, you can also stay competitive for promotions and awards by continuing to keep up with current in information relating to your career. Continuing education and training can be found through agencies such as:

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