Last year Wisconsin’s 1,460 emergency dispatchers earned one of the highest average salaries in the state for jobs requiring a similar skill level. St $42,400, this higher-than-average salary reflects the responsibility and training dispatchers must demonstrate in their everyday work. Demonstrating openness to training, or earning national certification, are two ways candidates can distinguish themselves among competitors for these positions.
Some of the largest employers of emergency dispatchers in the state include:
- Milwaukee County Communications Division, handling more than 1,000 daily calls for help
- Dane County Public Safety Communications Center serving Madison and handling over half a million calls each year
- Brown County Department of Public Safety Communications serving Green Bay and responding to nearly 359,000 calls for help each year
- Kenosha Joint Services
- Racine County Communications Center
The Right Credentials for a Successful 911 Dispatcher Career in Wisconsin
A major part of how to become a 911 dispatcher in Wisconsin involves on-the-job training. This is provided for new hires, and candidates who possess relevant education and experience going into job interviews will demonstrate a higher level of commitment to the field.
Training includes the following certifications and courses sampled from 911 dispatcher job descriptions from the largest employing agencies in the state:
- Communicator Training Academy
- Computer Aided Dispatch System
- Emergency Telecommunicator Course
- Emergency Medical Dispatch
- Emergency Fire Dispatch
In addition to 911 dispatcher training, prospective emergency operators can consider obtaining degrees which will enhance career mobility and significantly increase credential competition. The following programs are offered through several Wisconsin colleges with additional resources available online:
- Law Enforcement
- Information Technology
- Public Safety
- Emergency Management
What to Expect from a Career as a 911 Dispatcher in Wisconsin
Learning about how to become a 911 operator in Wisconsin can be hard work, but after researching the training and education that go into the profession, candidates should also realize that as challenging as 911 dispatcher jobs are, they can also be rewarding.
When a Milwaukee emergency dispatcher recently received a 911 call from a woman in distress saying her boyfriend had a gun to his head and was threatening to kill himself she knew she was in a delicate situation. However thanks to her 911 operator training and understanding of psychology she was able to convince the man to lower his weapon and hug his girlfriend and child instead of making a tragic mistake. The dispatcher is now being hailed as a hero in her local community.
The Dane County Public Safety Communications Center keeps a log of success stories its dispatchers have had with calls that have come in, including instances such as:
- 911 dispatcher providing instructions on the administration of CPR and CCR (hands-only CPR)
- Caller who received pre-arrival instructions for a baby being born en-route to the hospital
- 911 operator talked a bystander through the procedure for administering an AED (Automated External Defibrillator) to a man who had just collapsed